NEW YORK: US consumers prefer free, ad-supported apps to those costing money but they also want the ability to filter the companies who are able to advertise to them, a new study says.

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a consortium of the nation's largest media and marketing associations, commissioned a poll of 1,015 adults which revealed that, of all those downloading apps, six in ten (58%) opted for free rather than paid-for ones.

Just 8% said they would download all of their free apps again if they were required to pay for them, while 46% said they wouldn't download any if forced to pay.

After the obvious issue of cost, respondents also demonstrated a "sophisticated understanding of mobile functionality and content" in their attitudes towards the collection and use of data.

Overall, seven in ten Americans felt that tools offering transparency and choice regarding relevant ads and data collection should be available wherever and however they accessed the internet.

And two thirds wanted those tools to let them pick and choose which companies were bringing them relevant offers.

Lou Mastria, DAA executive director, said the association already provided these options in the desktop environment and would soon do so in mobile as well with the launch of AppChoices, a downloadable tool that will allow users to manage their relevant advertising preferences in mobile apps.

Almost 60% of respondents said they would be more favourably disposed towards those companies and brands that provided ubiquitous, real-time choice regarding their advertising practices using a transparency icon, a feature that is a hallmark of the DAA program.

The emphasis placed on choice is no doubt a consequence of the unhappy experience of being bombarded with irrelevant advertising. By a margin of nearly five-to-one, those respondents who expressed an opinion preferred to see mobile ads relevant to their specific interests.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff