Flurry's latest post is yet another interesting read on freemium games on the App Store, specifically which age groups are playing them, and which age groups are paying for them. They've used consumer spending data across over 1.4 billion sessions, which means this information is as accurate as you're going to get outside of Apple's own databases. As you can see above, the patterns are interesting. Younger players are the primary users of freemium games, and that's not really surprising -- we've known for a while that the younger generation is downloading and playing more games than anyone else.
But that third blue bar is the really interesting one: The people actually paying for freemium games are primarily in the 25-34 age group, right in the middle of the demographics. Sure, they're playing their share of the games, but freemium titles are almost completely funded by that stripe of the age demographic. And when you consider that the average freemium title only really pulls in-app purchases from a small percentage of its audience anyway, that age group becomes even more important.
This seems logical, as most successful in-app purchase items are for convenience and time-saving. The 25-34 age group has more money but not as much free time as the younger audience, and thus are willing to shell out for items that help them in the game.
But the big question is whether this will change as the years go by. As the younger audience gets older, will they become the main payers for these titles, or just stay the main players? We've only been playing with this model for a few years, and if the younger audience keeps playing without paying, freemium could be a short-lived trend.