Corporate Eye

Good News for Mobile Advertising in Apps

money yes noMore than one out of two American mobile device users (58%) prefer to download mobile apps that are free but include in-app advertising than apps that cost money to download or require payment within the app later to access additional features. This data comes from October 2014 research by Zogby Analytics for the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), which surveyed 1,015 U.S. adults who have downloaded mobile apps.

Just how much does charging for mobile apps affect consumers’ willingness to download? The research found that nearly one in two mobile users (46%) would not download all of their free apps again if they were required to pay for them, and only 8% said they would download all of their free apps again if they had to pay.

If you have a mobile app for your brand, it should be free to get the most people to download it. However, if you want your brand to get in front of mobile app users, then you should be pursuing highly relevant ad placement opportunities.

The research found that more than 65% of mobile users would not mind seeing relevant mobile ads within the apps they use as long as advertisers provide some type of proof that users’ privacy is well protected. Two out of three mobile users (66%) want opt-out choices (like they have on the web apps that they use on their desktop computers) and they want to be able to choose which brands can display ads to them.

Mobile users in the United States who download apps aren’t as advertising-averse as some would think. In fact, they prefer to see mobile ads that are highly relevant to them rather than pay for apps in any way by a very wide margin of five to one!

It’s important to note that transparency and privacy are not only valued by mobile app users, they also affect consumers’ perceptions of brands. Nearly 60% of respondents to this survey indicated that they would have a more positive perception of a company and brand if it provided a clearly visible and real-time tool that they can use to modify their ad choices at any moment. This way, the advertiser and the mobile app developer are giving the user control of his or her experience, which will undoubtedly lead to better results and overall ROI.

Whether you have a branded app or advertise within other mobile apps, this data is very important for you. Mobile marketing and monetization opportunities are out there. You just need to deliver what the mobile audience wants.

 Image: Svilen Milev

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.