Percentage of users that want Ad-Free

A few years ago when I really stared focusing on how to monetize my apps I ran with the idea that only 20% of users would pay for an ad-free version.  This came from an article in Forbes that found that roughly 14% of users were willing to pay to remove ads. (link)  So with that in mind I decided to focus on the 80% that were willing to put up with ads and so far that strategy has done fairly well.

Now two months into my experiment with a "Free" Ad-Free model I have discovered a very different picture.  From my analytics I can tell the total number of users across a month and how many are my reward (or ad-free) users.  Here are my results:

Ghost SLS:


Ghost Chat:

I want to point out that in both Ghost SLS and Ghost Chat the feature if extremely prominent while in GhostTalk the feature is hidden in the 'info' section of the app with the dependency credits.

In all three cases I am seeing roughly 2% of users that are willing to go ad-free.  I know from watching my users interact that they are probably 15-30 years old but I don't have any hard evidence for their ages because I don't ask for or track that information.

Keeping in mind that the feature is actually 'free' I would estimate that very few users would opt out after learning the details of the feature.  This isn't something I am going to spend any time to discover though because it's not really the goal.

Realizing that around 2% of my users take the ad-free option and the other 98% either don't care or avoid it assuming it's a paid feature, I am fairly confident now that I am maximizing my ad monetization for these apps.  Remember that reward ads pay roughly 4x what a normal banner ad pays, so the users that get ad-free are delivering the equivalent of 4 ad taps for the ad-free benefits.

I really thought this percentage would be much higher and would lead to the app being primarily ad-free for the active users because they would spend 30 seconds every X days to hide the other ads.

It's also curious that the users have never mentioned this feature to other users in the chat.  It's almost like an advanced form of ad-blindness where users instinctively avoid tapping ads, but if it happens they also instinctively close the ads and return to the app.

This is interesting, I'll let you know if my numbers change over time.

Have a great weekend!