iOS Users Overwhelmingly Prefer Free Games With Advertisements to Paid Titles

The majority of iOS users prefer iOS games that are available for free and supported with advertisements, according to a new study conducted by Wild Tangent in collaboration with analytics firm IHS Technology.

The survey, which queried 500 iOS users, saw 86 percent of respondents state that they prefer free games with ads over paid games without ads. Broken down, 70 percent of respondents preferred free games supported by advertising, while 16 percent were in favor of freemium games with the option to pay for levels. Just 14 percent of those surveyed preferred iOS games that required money upfront to download.

gamerpreferences

When asked about their preference for the types of games online gamers preferred, advertising supported games were chosen by the vast majority of those surveyed. 70% of respondents said they preferred free games supported by advertising and 16% preferred freemium games with the option to pay for levels in the game. Only 14% preferred online games they had to pay for to play.

Gamers also prefer advertising models that give them control over their viewing. When asked if they prefer games that let them choose when and how to view ads over those that do not, 71% preferred that level of control.

Gamers also overwhelmingly preferred value exchange ads within freemium games, which allow users to play videos or view other advertisements in exchange for in-game currency or items. The recently released Disco Zoo provides a good example of such a system, rewarding players with in-game Bux for viewing short videos. The addition of free in-game items acquired through advertisements boosted time spent within games by approximately 28 percent.

Over the course of the last several years, freemium games have largely replaced paid titles as the standard in the App Store. As of today, 43 of the top 50 apps listed on the App Store's Top Grossing chart are freemium gaming titles. Several others are non-gaming apps that offer in-app purchases, and only one paid game, Minecraft - Pocket Edition is ranked as a top grossing app in the number 18 spot.

topgrossingapps
Some of the most popular freemium apps in the App Store, like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga, have generated millions of dollars in revenue. Clash of Clans, for example, is said to earn approximately $1 million per day through add-on content, booster packs, and more, while Candy Crush Saga earns upwards of $834,148. In comparison, Minecraft - Pocket Edition is estimated to be earning $60,000 per day -- not exactly small change, but nowhere near the revenue popular freemium games can bring in.

Given the sheer amount of money that freemium and free games supported with advertising make for developers, it is not surprising that the freemium business model has largely taken over the App Store.

According to IHS, by 2017, only 10 percent of mobile and tablet gaming revenue will be generated by paid downloads, with the rest of revenue coming from ad-supported free apps. Today, approximately 15 percent of gaming app revenue comes from paid apps, with 85 percent being generated through in-app purchases.

Top Rated Comments

Eddy Munn Avatar
93 months ago
A survey of MacRumors audience would probably differ greatly.
I can't stand adverts in games, and don't mind supporting a developer for a game I really enjoy.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sesnir Avatar
93 months ago
Really? A company with an ad platform says that iOS users overwhelmingly prefer free games with ads?

And the sample size is only 500... were they employees of WildTangent?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TsunamiTheClown Avatar
93 months ago
Add me to the other column please.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mw360 Avatar
93 months ago
People are so disappointing, aren't they?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arkmannj Avatar
93 months ago
What I like are when apps are free with Ads, then they have an inApp purchase option to remove the Ads.

I like it because then I get to try the app out "risk free" then basically pay the developer if I like their app.

I really stinks to have a paid app without a trial version, only to find out it isn't what you needed or wanted.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lesser Evets Avatar
93 months ago
It took research to find out people prefer FREE things?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
iPad Pro Feature

Early M1 iPad Pro Orders Now Preparing to Ship

Tuesday May 11, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
Apple will soon ship out 11 and 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro models, according to multiple Twitter users and MacRumors readers who have seen their orders shift to "Preparing to Ship" status. So far, we haven't seen any shipment notifications, but that's the next step and is likely to happen in the near future. Apple has not provided an exact delivery date to those who ordered a new M1 iPad Pro, but ...
maxresdefault

Video: Make Your iPhone Last Longer With These Battery Preserving Tips

Monday May 10, 2021 1:23 pm PDT by
Maximizing battery life is something that many iPhone users deal with on a regular basis as we all want our iPhones to last as long as possible. Sometimes there are bugs in iOS that make the battery drain faster, and sometimes we just need to eke out as much as possible on a long day out and about. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, MacRumo...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macos big sur ios 14 iphone 12 pro macbook air icloud drive desktop documents hero

Apple Merging 'iCloud Documents and Data' Service With iCloud Drive in May 2022

Tuesday May 11, 2021 2:36 am PDT by
Apple plans to merge its iCloud Documents and Data service with iCloud Drive starting in May of 2022, according to a support document published late last week (via MacGeneration). iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data share the fundamental ability to backup data from apps. However, iCloud Documents and Data was often a cumbersome, confusing experience. In contrast, iCloud Drive is more...