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App Whales And Minnows Segmenting Mobile App Buyers

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 Foot View

Despite being small in number, app buyers are the bread and butter of the current mobile app economy accounting for the majority of global app revenue. But their behaviour is too often simply benchmarked against that of free app users. But it is not a binary equation. The app buyer population comprises two distinct sub-segments, which vary across many factors including scale, revenue share, demographics, app spend allocation as well as media consumption patterns. Understanding the differences of the app buying sub-segments allows for more accurate and effective marketing, targeting and product development.

Key Findings

  • In 2014, app buyers accounted for        of global app revenue, but only for        of app users
  • High-spending App Whales accounted for        of app users and        of global app revenue and        of revenue from app buyers
  • Lower-spending App Minnows accounted for        of app users and        of global app        of high spenders are male, compared to        of low        of high spenders are under        compared to        of low spenders
  • The majority of in-app high spenders make monthly purchases in multiple apps, while the majority of in-app low spenders spend on a single app        of high spenders listen to radio, compared to        low        of high spenders pay a for monthly video subscription service, compared to        of low        of low spenders would pay a one off fee to access a video, compared to        of high        of high spenders use        networks compared to        of low        of high spenders use mobile piracy apps compared to        of low spenders
  • Average Revenue Per App Buyer (ARPB) is a key success measure for App companies but biases to companies with less evenly distributed spending

Companies mentioned in this report: King, Supercell, Glu Mobile, Zynga

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