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49 percent of app users are willing to pay a monthly subscription

49 percent of mobile users say that they would pay for a monthly subscription app.

Published onOctober 7, 2014


The question of whether users will pay for online content has hung over traditional media for years. Now, we are seeing a pattern for mobile platforms going forward which includes more customers paying monthly for content.

According to a Harris survey, 43 percent of mobile users say that they have paid for an app and 49 percent of mobile users say that they would be willing to pay for a monthly subscription app.

Among those who have paid for an app, 83 percent say they have paid $9.99 or less, 63 percent have paid only $4.99 or less and 31 percent have paid $1.99 or less. The study found that streaming TV and movies is the category in which most people will pay the most for on a subscription basis.


In maybe the biggest surprise, mobile users are now much more willing to commit to a subscription model that has escaped most online publishers for years. In fact, more than a third of smartphone/tablet owners currently subscribe to one or more app-based services. Though as Media Post points out, Netflix is likely responsible for many of those subscriptions.

But the gains in subscriptions from outside the movie and TV category is still quite surprising:

  • 11 percent of subs are in the productivity app category,
  • 30 percent in games, 27 percent in streaming music and
  • 25 percent in news and magazines.

While the study clearly shows a public that is more accepting of a subscription model for apps, it is also clear that on the whole the public is still skeptical and picky about whether they want to pay a monthly fee for content on a mobile device.