4 Comments

Summary:

A study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled, providing little long-term benefit to the app developers who use these app distribution campaigns. According to a Harris online survey, only 3 percent of apps downloaded through incentivized install campaigns are used frequently.

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The practice of inducing users to download an app by offering them virtual goods or currency in a mobile game got knocked around earlier this year when Apple banned the practice for new and updated iOS apps because the campaigns apparently gamed the App Store rankings. But the practice continues to live on other platforms including Android, which is becoming a force for developers.

But a new study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled, providing little long-term benefit to the app developers who use these app distribution campaigns. According to a Harris online survey on behalf of mobile ad provider Pontiflex, only 3 percent of apps downloaded through incentivized install campaigns are used frequently.

Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading it including 37 percent who uninstalled an app after receiving a reward and 25 percent, who only used an app once to redeem the incentive. Another 17 percent also said they hardly ever use an app after downloading via an incentive while 18 percent said they occasionally use the app.

Now, the numbers could be questioned because of the sponsor of the survey Pontiflex, which has its own app distribution tool called Pontiflex AppLeads. But it nonetheless raises some interesting questions about the long-term value of incentivized install campaigns. They can be still be good for providing a download boost. And they  can also be a good revenue source for developers and publishers who run these ad campaigns in their apps. But for developers who are trying to not only gain downloads but monetize them after the fact, the survey data suggests that can be a tough process.

It shouldn’t be surprising. Dangling virtual currency in exchange for downloading an app can entice a lot of people but doesn’t mean they will use the app. And in many cases, it seems like people have little interest in apps beyond redeeming their reward. This is important for developers because if the abandonment rate is extremely high, there’s a decreased chance of getting users to pay for in-app purchases or monetize them through mobile ad impressions.

The survey also found that only 7 percent of smartphone users and 15 percent of tablet users who download free apps said that they prefer video ads that take over your screen and force you to watch a video. And about one third of users — 35 percent of smartphone and 34 percent of tablet owners — expressed concerns that mobile video ads will increase their data costs. This might be troubling for rich media ads, which have fetched higher impression rates but may not be as attractive to end users.

Again, this is helpful for Pontiflex, which offers simple sign-up ads that let people choose which companies they want to communicate with. But it raises questions about what consumers want in their mobile ads. Obviously, most people would like to avoid ads. But they may not be as enamored with big videos and animation after they get used to the novelty, at least if you believe Pontiflex. There’s still room for many ideas in mobile monetization and marketing but it’s still early and it’s unclear what model will work best longterm with mobile users.

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  40. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/jwpMEhQG (via @gigaom)

  41. Peter Alexandrov Monday, December 12, 2011

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  42. Andrés Muñoz Monday, December 12, 2011

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  52. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

  53. Clarice Technologies Monday, December 12, 2011

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  55. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/23Cvrglx

  56. 앱 프로모션하는 분들에게 의미있는 통계네요. 쿠폰, 경품 등 이벤트가 별 도움이 안 된다는 얘기ㅜㅠRT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ALgxEhX4

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  81. Hi Ryan, there are still many offers in iOS that pay or reward users to download apps. There either local in a few countries or just under the radar. Google for now is tolerating those programs. But the real problem for the ad industry is that they create a real distorsion by either bringing the Cost per download at a low level, or by simply creating unfair competitive advantage with most ad networks who do not pay or reward users to promote apps (traditional like admob, adfonic,…or specific like app promotion platforms, including ours) or advertisers using those non incentivized channels.

    Hopefully market forces, like on the web 10 years ago, will make those offer go away. Facebook already banned them, Apple also did…but most importantly advertisers will realize, as you point here, they are not efficient.

  82. RT @gigaom Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/fuDcszxi [just do not pay users to downloads apps!]

  83. Julien lancret Monday, December 12, 2011

    RT @OurielOhayon: RT @gigaom Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/fuDcszxi [just do not pay users to downloads apps!]

  84. David Frampton Monday, December 12, 2011

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  85. Daniel Markham-Clay Monday, December 12, 2011

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  86. bizodo.com

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  87. Yael Rozencwajg Monday, December 12, 2011

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  88. Nicolas Saintagne Monday, December 12, 2011

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  89. Team At Copestone Monday, December 12, 2011

    Apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled http://t.co/nRdt4wkM via @gigaom #apps

  90. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/UKJuxvRD #mobile #apps

  91. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WKjRNjDZ

  92. nigelia suahali Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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  93. Agree. One-time incentives don’t breed loyalty RT @gigaom Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/sOUNRAyS

  94. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/iLkO4bl3

  95. MobileMarketWow Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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  96. Antonio Severino Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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  97. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/VKXf9w5t

  98. It sounds quite obvious to me… RT @filos: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Oz3gkL73

  99. Les techniques de vente violentes ne fonctionnent pas… Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/hzSM8KuE #ios #android

  100. Les arbres ne montent pas jusqu’au ciel. même en numérique. “Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives” http://t.co/0RsjkE3i

  101. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/1xCs1xn5

  102. Incentivised apps more likely to be abandoned by users – http://t.co/iUPsM3r3

  103. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: A study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives a… http://t.co/2TfvUPTw

  104. [GigaOM] Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/tvhYRme5 #gigaom

  105. RT @EliasVeris: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ML8M6CMJ

  106. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/kyL7ReaB #ArabNetME

  107. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/56hDQkw1

  108. gianluca carrera Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives #socialmedia http://t.co/PXcmK1G0

  109. Fresh Digital Group Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    “Apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled” according to study: http://t.co/ZqDjWzX6

  110. That’s interesting. Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rwOicPUq #apps #downloads

  111. Alexandre Alvaro Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/x3M1OdLI

  112. Survey: 37% of users uninstall apps downloaded for incentive. Is this surprising? : http://t.co/gX0IBHjt [via @oryankim @gigaom] #apps

  113. RT @clemnt: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WKjRNjDZ

  114. Derek van Vliet Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Gbsn1xMP

  115. Michael Monello Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    You can lead a horse to water… Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/toxnYhmy

  116. Craig Elimeliah Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    RT @mikemonello: You can lead a horse to water… Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/toxnYhmy

  117. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/kodHUY9u

  118. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/NmxQKDE1

  119. Crutchfield Blog Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives. What’s your experience? http://t.co/ClErbCGj

  120. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Sv4Pb20f

  121. “Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives” — Tech News and Analysis – http://t.co/KyVeZbYD

  122. George T. Thibault Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/CjzmeZfV

  123. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives — http://t.co/qlYM1nsW

  124. Jonathan Carrigan Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/TLPb4g2O | #mobile #mobilemarketing

  125. [241] Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives
    http://t.co/yRFThsv4

  126. Salazar @ Teelook Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/KY32G9SZ

  127. Only 3% install & regularly use ‘incentive apps’ (apps downloaded for incentives like virtual currency) http://t.co/gWz5kK93

  128. PierreOlivier Carles Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Hard selling doesn’t work here either… Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/iZ0udxB7

  129. Apparently driving app downloads with in-game incentives works, but few of the downloads are played. #gamedev #html5 http://t.co/1Mu32M1x

  130. On my reading list: http://t.co/K9oAhbYY Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives

  131. AppMagenta, Gtekna (aka FreeAppParty.com), etc. are much, much worse. They are using robot downloads to artificially inflate app rankings to get more organic downloads. And if you don’t know who those guys are at this point, you need to do a little research about the mobile app market.

  132. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rSC5NEX7 (thus the need for good engagement metrics :) ) #analytics

  133. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5qU0mdzi

  134. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/MqMxniGo

  135. Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading it. http://t.co/3kMBAoAW

  136. RT @meshin Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading http://t.co/YgmqMeT2

  137. Tim Geisenheimer Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    .@pontiflex commissioned a survey showing that incentivized app installs are not effective, check it out in @gigaom: http://t.co/RyxAtE0y

  138. Good find @appMobi. Lessons for business, maybe? Driving app downloads with in-game incentives works, but few played http://t.co/KVAwgAGs

  139. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/qd9YSyeJ interesting!

  140. [SURVEY] Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/OntYvEpe

  141. Non-incentivized downloads – clearly the way to go http://t.co/7769AOi6

  142. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/NFH6L0tr

  143. Users seem to abandon #apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/0wCzneWe

  144. Users abandoning apps downloaded via incentives?: http://t.co/o6SBmLjt

  145. インセンティブ広告から継続的にアプリを利用するユーザーは3%しかいない。Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives → http://t.co/hl1feGi1

  146. Harris survey suggests that app download incentives get you users who #churn http://t.co/ed4ft4xO #itstheproductthatmatters cc @nakedcmo

  147. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

  148. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/1iEUt7Me

  149. Luis J. Salazar Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    RT @davidnotdave: Harris survey suggests that app download incentives get you users who #churn http://t.co/ed4ft4xO #itstheproductthatmatters cc @nakedcmo

  150. Nomad Australia Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5ZFf2UQM

  151. Raphaelle Wilson Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    RT @NomadAgency: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5ZFf2UQM

  152. virtual currency used as incentives for app downloads #iphone #app #android… http://t.co/ylgoKiu7

  153. The sponsored nature of this survey defeats the purpose.
    I used to work for the major incentivized downloads company. I wouldn’t comment much on the acquired user quality, but everyone who buys it knows the main purpose is chart boost to bring organic downloads.

    That’s why some optimization networks actually calculate CPD based on the combination of incentive-acquired and organic downloads.

  154. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – GigaOm http://t.co/bHPaY78p

  155. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rWrDQCWs

  156. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – GigaOm http://t.co/kVS5s1zS

  157. Katharine Norwood Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/lLlEGWKO

  158. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

  159. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Q9zkiAEG @pontiflex #in…Incentivized app installs??..–you decide…….

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