Google, Apple unveil app store updates

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Apple and Google have announced updates to their mobile app stores that will help app developers increase visibility and revenue. Both companies are under increased pressure to help developers’ apps stand out in their crowded app-store marketplaces.

  • Apple announced that it will allow developers to provide early-access promotional codes for their apps and in-app purchases. Developers can offer these codes to journalists and reviewers for free access to new apps and content. Granting that access gives developers a chance to garner more publicity and recommendations for new apps.
  • Google, meanwhile, announced a slew of updates to the Google Play store, including allowing developers to offer discounted subscription pricing for their apps. This means developers can give new users a discounted subscription price for a limited time when they first start using an app, which could help them gain users.
  • Google also said that it will expand the Google Play store to new computing platforms including wearables, VR headsets, and Chromebook laptops, giving developers a single marketplace to sell apps and content across all of these devices.
  • Lastly, Google will leverage machine-learning algorithms more- heavily to provide app recommendations for Google Play users.

These announcements follow changes Apple made to the App Store earlier this year, which included giving developers a bigger cut of revenue and helping them garner more reviews for new apps.

App downloads seem to be rebounding recently, according to a survey released this past summer by Tune, but developers are still struggling to stand out in the app stores. Google Play, for example, features more than 2.4 million apps, according to Statista, yet the average smartphone user downloads only two new apps per month, according to a recent comScore
. Additionally, app developers will likely face increased pressure in the near future from chatbots and messenger apps that collapse many capabilities into a single service.

Cutting through the noise of an overcrowded app market is critical for any app developer looking to build a viable user base.

There are now well over 3 million apps available across the world’s five largest app stores. Delivering the right product to the right audience at the right time in this environment is imperative to the success of any app.

The challenge of marketing an app effectively has made app-install ads — an ad unit that directs users to download a mobile app — an essential tool for developers seeking to stand out in the Google Play and Apple app stores. This is why it’s not surprising that more marketers are using paid channels to drive downloads than ever before. In fact, over 80% of respondents in a survey of the top 100 grossing mobile app developers noted they plan on increasing their spend on app-install ads in 2015.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile app-install ads that looks at the revenues from app-install ads and how they’re expected to grow over the next five years. It also looks at the performance of app-install ads and how these metrics are expected to change over time.

Furthermore, the report examines the top app-install ad products and pricing models offered by the leading advertising platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Google, as well as newer app-install formats from Instagram and Snapchat.

Looking to the future, the report examines how companies are shifting their app-install ad spend to new formats, as well as the new tools they’re using to improve optimization and ad effectiveness.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Mobile app-install ads — ad units that direct users to download a mobile app — are an essential tool for developers, and they account for a major share of mobile ad spend. We estimate 25% of total US mobile ad revenue was generated by app-install ads in 2015.
  • A combination of new developers entering the space and rising ad budgets will drive increased spending in years to come. US app-install ad revenue will grow to over $7 billion by year-end 2020, according to BI Intelligence estimates.
  • Mobile app install advertisers have traditionally invested heavily in display and interstitial ads, but are moving to mobile video and native install formats. 86% of developers currently use in-feed video app-install ads, and video ads are seen as the most effective app-install format.
  • As formats like video rise in popularity, older formats are losing their appeal for install campaigns. Static nonnative ads are widely used but are not seen as effective. Free app networks
    and offer walls have also fallen out of favor.
  • Ad platforms are now developing innovative new install formats to earn even more revenue from these lucrative ad units. New approaches, including deep linking and app streaming, are more contextualized and interactive than older ad formats.

In full, the report:

  • Forecasts app-install ad spending in the US through 2020.
  • Explores which app-install ad formats developers believe are most effective.
  • Discusses what the most popular platforms and ad networks are doing to attract ad spending.
  • Investigates new tools for marketing apps, including deep linking and app streaming.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >>
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store.


The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of mobile app-install ads.

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