Mobile marketing experts: In-app purchase will grow in Asia

While a decreasing trend is being observed in the number of mobile apps downloads globally, Asia seems to be bucking the trend.

Speaking at Apps Word Asia Forum on Friday (2 September), mobile marketing experts said apps purchasing power is growing phenomenally in Asia.

Research firm Ovum has indicated that in the Asia Pacific region, the expected mobile apps market revenue will reach US$958 million by 2015.

Thomas Clayton, CEO of Bubble Motion, said that at the moment, the in-app purchase rate is very low in Asia. For example, it is only 30-35 percent in China. This is because the overall digital ad spending is very low in Asia.

However, compared to the West, this low rate of purchase is offset by large volumes, said Ashwin Venkatraman, director and head of global sales, SmartPay, InMobi. "Asia has the volume advantage," he said.

The consensus was that paid downloads will not succeed in this region. Going forward, according to Steven Frank, business development director, Asia, Wild Tangent, the freemium model would be quite popular among Asian game purchasers. Experts on the panel agreed that freemium model might work for Asia. Utility-based apps would find favour with people in this region and advertising in app-purchase is going to stay, they said.