It’s a very common user mindset: they tolerate a lot of limitations, ads, and nags to avoid paying. It’s not that they’re cheap, per se: they just really don’t believe that apps are worth paying for, and they feel cheated or defeated if they end up needing to pay for one.
Mobile ads pay very poorly. In my case, ads didn’t even come close to delivering similar value as the $4.99 paid-app sale — I was lucky to get even $1 of value out of an Instapaper Free user. What I’ve heard from other developers and other ad networks suggests that this is pretty close to the industry average.
Thanks, Google and all the other companies who give everything away for free. You’ve created a culture of people who “feel cheated or defeated if they end up needing to pay” for something.
This needs to change.