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Google Play in-app purchases up 700%

Market trending free-to-play as last year has seen players spend eight times as much from within programs

Conventional wisdom says the mobile market is going free-to-play in a big way, but an Inside Mobile Apps report from last week's Google I/O conference has provided some numbers to show just how dramatic the trend has been. At the conference, Google Play product manager for commerce and monetization Ibrahim Elbouchikhi noted that the storefront's in-app revenues grew 700 percent in the last year.

Additionally, Google Play games business development head Bob Meese emphasized for the audience how drastically the market was shifting toward free-to-play models. Meese noted that the vast majority of top grossing apps on the Google Play store are free-to-play, with the single biggest exception being Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

"We're not saying you need to push everything free-to-play, however also recognize the dominant trend toward free-to-play," Meese said.

Even non-game apps are benefitting from in-app-purchase models. In February, music streaming service Pandora implemented a way for users to subscribe from within the Android app, and saw revenues on Google Play jump nearly 400 percent month-over-month.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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