New research from Flurry provides impressive numbers to support the freemium game business model, by disclosing that the average purchase from within an otherwise free-to-play mobile game is $14. Jeferson Valadares, Flurry’s general manager of games, went so far as to compare some freemium games to a financial Trojan horse.

Flurry, which has built a leading mobile application analytics and recommendation-engine driven advertising platform, forecasts that these seemingly trivial games therefore will contribute significantly to a total U.S. iOS and Android game revenue of more than $1 billion, based on data collected from 3.5 million consumers.

This $14 average will strike the average freemium player as implausibly high, and that’s because only 3 percent of players will spend anything at all. Of that small percentage, 71 percent spent under $10, but over 5 percent spent more than $50 – the price of a high-quality console game title – in a single transaction.

“If you’re a game designer, your main take away is that very few transactions – and consumers who complete those transactions – make up the bulk of your revenue,” Valadares said, indicating that these are the consumers developers should target.

In early July Flurry found that games drive 75 percent of revenue generated among the top 100 grossing iOS apps, and of that share, 65 percent was generated from freemium games like the consistently top-ten selling Tap Tap Revenge from Tapulous (pictured).

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