Monetization of children's applications depending on age. Reasoning

    Hello. Our division has been developing children's educational mobile applications for over 3 years. 3 years is a rather long period, during this time we have gained experience, which we want to share in our article. Namely, tell about the features of monetization of applications targeted at different ages.



    Recently, we began to receive a lot of reviews (50 percent) that our application " Children's interactive developmental magazine " is very cool and interesting, but here is what surprised us in these reviews: they are written in simple children's language or, more simply put, by children . Some complain that parents are not allowed to buy applications, others say that they have developed a miser, others are asking to do everything for free and feel sorry for poor children who have a device, but no money.

    Parents, are you willing to pay for educational content? Or do you not follow what children do on devices?

    Interested in reading our observations? I ask for a cut.

    Let's divide the users of children's applications into the following groups.

    Age 0-4 years . These are children playing games under the supervision of their parents and only in what the parents allowed them. Applications are screened by parents. The main buyer is the parent. Therefore, at this stage it is very important to interest the parent in choosing exactly your application. The parent primarily draws attention to the educational value and security of the application (lack of advertising, aggressive content). If the application is like, the parent is ready to buy it.
    At the same time, children use the devices of their parents.
    Parents are also willing to pay for applications that, in their opinion, can lure the child a little. These are simple fun games.
    In this case, the freemium model is an ideal way to monetize - providing the basic functionality of the application for free for review. Selling full functionality in the application - through IAP or a separate full version of the application.

    Age 4–7 years.Children who may soon have their own devices or who have them. At the same time, they continue to play applications that parents approved. At this stage, parents are interested in continuing to search for new educational applications. And children are interested in learning something new. At the same time, children use the devices of their parents. From the point of view of children, they are always interested in new content. They are ready to consume it, and the old they quickly get bored.
    The parent is ready to continue investing in educational content. At the same time, it is important to establish friendly relations with parents and, accordingly, offer content for a new age. First of all, parents will choose those applications and those developers whose applications they used earlier.
    At this stage, it is desirable to make the process of acquiring new content easier for parents. For example, the release of new fairy tales, magazines by subscription. At the same time, the child will know that the content is constantly being updated in this application, and expect it. And the parent does not need to do unnecessary actions, to purchase something separately each time, but only to control the subscription.

    Age 7–10 years.At this age, children go to school. They have their own gadget. Children themselves know how to use a mobile device. They themselves can install applications and choose what they play. They are interested in what their friends are using. They are interested in games. Moreover, they are not ready to pay for games: they do not have such an opportunity. But at the same time, they are ready to earn bonuses and watch ads to open additional content or functionality in the application.
    Parents are ready to continue investing in educational applications. But now it will be advisory in nature. Those. here there is a conflict: children choose games and entertainment, parents are not ready to pay for it. Parents are willing to pay for educational content (books, magazines), but the children may no longer be interested.
    For this age, a possible monetization option is advertising. Giving users bonuses for watching ads or installing the application. The introduction of advertising games, GetJar and other services (receiving points and bonuses) that can be exchanged for premium content. Children are ready to do all this. Cons - the content should really be interesting to them, should be popular among peers. This is most likely a game. But parents are ready at this stage also to continue to pay for the subscription of those applications that they themselves approved, so that children can receive educational content.

    Age 11–16 years . High school students. They have top-end devices, smartphones.
    There is free pocket money. This audience is becoming more interested in games and social communication applications. Teenagers are ready to compete and share their results online with friends. At the same time, they can get a virtual card to buy bonuses and chips in games even faster. To measure results and compete further.
    Those. it’s hard for parents to impose content on their children. Children themselves choose what to pay for, but not for what. They are ready to continue to watch advertisements, receive achievements and earn bonuses by viewing advertisements and other actions, but they are also willing to pay for accelerated receipt of bonuses and achievement of results.

    Age 16-22.Students. A new stage in life - new acquaintances, independence. They have top-end devices. Pocket money is found, but so far there is no willingness to spend money on applications. Funds are needed for entertainment and parties. Students love freebies and competitions. Ready to consume mobile content with ads, achievements and the ability to earn extra bonuses in the application or game for free. If the application is very, very like, they can pay for it.

    Age 22 and more. Former students who successfully graduated from institutes and got a job. They get paid. Such an audience is willing to pay for entertainment and games, i.e. ready to consume paid content. They understand why they are doing this and have every opportunity to do it.

    Age 25 and over.These are not really children, but these are real parents. And now they are ready to pay for educational and entertainment content for their children. The circle closes. This is how the monetization cycle of applications turns out, depending on the age of the children.

    Conclusion
    We have always been against advertising in children's apps, but by breaking users into categories by age, we now understand that for some age categories this may be the only way to monetize certain types of apps. This is necessary so that we can work, create interesting new content for children and pay designers, programmers, content managers a salary.

    Simple and functional applications that solve a specific goal, it is logical to monetize according to the freemiun model (for example, applications such as "Mathematics ”,“ Alphabet ”,“ Connect the Dots ”).

    In applications in which content is constantly updated and something new appears monthly, it is logical to use a subscription model in which the user gets access to all content, including new content that appears while using the application (for example, in applications such as " Child interactive developing magazine ”,“ Tales ”,“ 3/9 kingdom ”, we plan to introduce this model in the near future, as content is constantly updated in them and new ones are added).

    This article is not a recipe for direct action. This is a discussion based on an analysis of the market situation, analysis of applications and observations. Perhaps in a year, two, or in a month, everything will change, and the methods described in this article will not work.

    Parents, are you willing to pay for educational content? What are you buying your kids for? For those who have children - write comments on the article.

    Sincerely, Oleg Demyanov, WebCanape Team
    and Whisper Arts Mobile Development Unit

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    What mobile apps do you buy for your children?

    • 22.5% Educational and developing 41
    • 14.2% Specialized games for children 26
    • 8.7% Just games 16
    • 73.6% Don't buy at all 134

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