Americans Prefer Free Apps with Ads Poll Finds

Americans Prefer Free Apps with Ads, Poll Finds

3 minute read
Tom Murphy avatar

Two-thirds of Americans want to control which companies can send ads to theirsmartphones or collect data about them, according to an advertising industry-sponsoredpoll released today.

The poll, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the DigitalAdvertising Alliance (DAA), also found consumers would prefer free apps withads over ad-free apps that cost money. Only 8 percent said they'd download alltheir free apps again if they had to pay for them.

Opt-Out Options

The survey of 1,015 adults comes as the DAA prepares to launch a mobileopt-out program similar to the "YourAd Choices" campaign it already offers for desktop computer users. According to the poll:

  • 71 percent of participants agreed tools for ads and data should beavailable anytime they access the Internet
  • 66 percent said the tools should let them pick and choose theiradvertisers
  • 66 percent want similar controls over ad-related data collection
  • 58 percent preferred free, ad-supported apps over paid applications
  • 65 percent said they were comfortable with receiving ads from companiesfollowing the DAA guidelines

In an interview with CMSWire, DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria said themobile program will be launched later this year, which will put it in the midstof the holiday shopping season. He said 35 million people have already havevisited DAA's website to learn more about the desktop program.

"As we move to a mobile environment, we want to assure the groundwork welaid in the desktop environment will play well in the mobile environment,"Mastria said. "The experience we enable for consumers at a rate of atrillion times a month globally right now is repeatable, reliable and ispremised on giving them choices, given them a heads-up that data is beingcollected to present relevant ads."


The DAA's efforts at self-regulation are intended to dissuade federalagencies from stepping into the debate over data-collection and advertisingpractices that are at the heart of emerging personalized marketing technologies.

Earlier this year, at a DAA meeting in San Francisco, the group was urged to pressforward with its efforts by Jessica Rich, the director of the consumeraffairs office of the Federal Trade Commission. 

Learning Opportunities

"I think is is our job, and we've taken it pretty seriously," saidMastria. "But I think there's always going to be a bit of healthy tensionbetween the self-regulating community and regulators. That's OK."

New Technologies

Companies like Adobe,Oracle,Sitecore,Salesforce.comand others are creating marketing clouds designed to send personalizedpromotions to consumers as a way of guiding them to making a purchase.

DAA's program invites advertisers to commit to a set of principles and todisplay the DAA icon in their ads. Consumers who click on the icon or can choose to block ads from the alliance members and can alsoset limits on data collection.

DAA was formed six years ago with support of majoradvertising agencies and groups such as the Direct Marketing Association,American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of NationalAdvertisers, American Advertising Federation, Network Advertising Initiative andInteractive Advertising Bureau. The Better Business Bureau helps to enforce theprogram.

Title image by Garry Knight  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.