Where fragmentation is an app publishers worst nightmare on the technology side with various hardware and operating systems, it becomes a powerful opportunity for app discovery with more than one distribution center available for publishers to use to aid them in their mission to gain app sales.
Google Play is a give-in but to really take your app to the next level you need to be looking outside this store to maximize your reach. Three discovery points every Android app publisher must have on their radar at this point are: Amazon, Facebook and YouTube. We’ve broken down what you need to know about each of these discovery powerhouses including the reason why your app needs to be there.
Amazon AppStore for Android
Launched back in March of last year, Amazon’s AppStore for Android now has over 25,000 applications in their inventory according to their February 2012 report by leading app store analytics company Distimo. This may be quite small compared to the 400,000+ apps in Google Play but this app store packs a punch when it comes to making money for developers. The same report concluded that out of the top 110 apps that appear both in Google Play and in the Amazon AppStore for Android, 42 of them make more money on Amazon then they did in Google Play.
If you are a paid application then Amazon is definitely the place for you. Distimo said that paid apps in the Amazon AppStore made up over 68% of all apps in this marketplace while in Google Play this percentage is 38% and dropping.
Revenue may be easier to gain in this store because, like iTunes, Amazon is a well known and trusted online/mobile shopping destination. With books, clothing, furniture, music and more in the same location as applications, the Amazon store is sure to attract a large audience who are already connected to purchase anything Amazon recommends to them
Facebook App Center
The most recent app store to be announced by a large industry player, Facebook threw their hat into the ring of mobile applications May of this year. Although this store isn’t ready for primetime, we urge that any app that has Facebook Connect or uses Facebook APIs prepare for its unveiling by creating an App Detail page and Submitting Your App.
With over 800 million active users according to Facebook itself, this app distribution center is expected to have a lot of eyeballs when it launches and with over 10.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook online only (this doesn’t even include mobile) this is one opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on for your app.
Facebook’s App Center will be well equipped to serve your app well. It will even support paid applications to help earn you revenue and it was recently unveiled that it will handle the tricky part of getting the app to your phone with their streamlined app install and launch experience via “Send to Mobile” which will use Facebook notifications when you are on a desktop and find an app that you want to install on your device.
If you don’t have Facebook APIs running in your app and you have been thinking about it, now is a good time to prioritize this on your product roadmap. No word yet on when App Center is about to launch but word on the street says that it is soon.
Although not an app store, YouTube, being the second largest search engine according to comScore, makes this discovery point extremely valuable to Android app users. We strongly suggest to all of our clients the creation of a 45-60 second marketing YouTube video for their application as part of their marketing collateral. Not only can you utilize this video as part of your product page within Google Play to enhance the saleability of your app; having this app live within the YouTube environment will allow app publishers to take advantage of the search results.
It is extremely important that any YouTube video you send live be well equipped with keywords and calls to action in order to maximize conversion of video views to downloads of your app. App publishers should maximize the use of the video title, description and tags by creating copy that is chock full of keywords geared towards search engine optimization.
In addition, a link to your app should always be evident in your description for all of your apps. Publishers should also utilize the Call-To-Action Overlay which YouTube makes available for your video which allows for a transparent ad unit to appear during viewing which can be used to illicit downloads of the app.
Above all else, however, your video should be high quality, engaging and relevant to your target user in order to be effective.