The business skills app developers need now.

App Developer Association’s OpenX, Millennial Media and more walk through idea generation, feature selection and monetization.

Smith

“You’ll hear these guys say, ‘We weren’t even thinkingabout monetizing. We were just making something we really liked. Now we’re billionaires!'” said Smith, CEO of mobile game developer XMG Studios. “If that were true it would have been free and it would have no way to make money.”

Smith, whose firm’s titles include Fashion Star Boutique and Drag Racer World, was speaking at an event recently hosted by the App Developers Alliance that took place in Toronto, one of several stops it has made in a tour across North America where it has been trying to teach app makers to act less like hobbyists and more like entrepreneurs. For Smith, thinking about apps as a business from the outset is a must.

“If you think you’re just going to build something from a great idea and ‘the money will come to me,’ it won’t,” he said.

Phase One: Choose (And Assess) The Right Idea

According to Greg Blackman, senior director of business development with Los Angeles-based ad tech company OpenX, the best way for developers to start is by “scratching their own itch.” In other words, think about an app or game that meets a need that hasn’t otherwise been met, and start from there. Don’t stop there, though. Blackman suggests doing a round of interviews with potential customers to ensure you’re on the right track.

Blackman

“Once you present it to enough people, you can see your target audience, and you see how much they light up,” he said. “When you put the idea in front of them, you should see a pattern where they light up every single time the value proposition is made clear to them.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean total originality has to be core to every single app. Smith said it’s more a case of picking a project with which you, as a developer, would engage as a consumer.

“If something already exists that you want to do, find that and ask yourself if you could do it better,” Smith suggested. “More than likely it’s out there. If it’s not on the app store already, it’s web-based.”

Phase Two: Choose The Features That Matter

An app has to do something, and in some cases it will do a lot. Developers may sometimes stumble over figuring out how much to pack into that first release, said Gary Yentin, co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based marketing firm App Promo. The easy answer is an economic one: If you create a business plan around the app, the numbers should provide some insight into what can reasonably be available at launch.

Yentin

“You can afford thousands of features if you have thousands of dollars,” he said.

Blackman recommends a “less is more” approach, particularly for developers who are new to apps or to a particular category.

“Boil it down to one thing, get it out as quickly as you can, then see if the code you put down can prove the value prop works,” he said. “All of the additional bells and whistles, the social hooks, they don’t matter if you can’t get the one thing down that makes a dollar from the app.”

Phase Three: Establish The Metrics Behind Your Monetization

James Hughes, associate director of publisher sales at Baltimore, Md.-based mobile ad firm Millennial Media, says developers and even publishers sometimes look at him as though he has two heads when he asks about their revenue strategy before an app is created. The problem is that too often monetization isn’t considered until after the fact, even though there are so many options to choose from. This includes push notifications, in-app purchases and display advertising.

Although some degree of experimentation might be necessary, Hughes said doing careful analysis of the first crop of users can help determine the best long-term approach. For example, those who are already looking at mobile ads may not want to be presented with in-app purchases, but that’s okay if they’re already generating revenue. Instead, target those who aren’t helping monetize the app at all.

“Experiment with your friends and family. Put it out to your beta users,” he said.  “Segment and understand who’s spending time where.”

Yentin agreed, adding that developers should ensure they have the right SDKs built into their app to track things like downloads and retention, even if they haven’t gotten a lot of users yet. “If you don’t have the tools, you’re not going to be successful.”

Also think about how much friction you want to put in your app, added Blackman. In other words, how often do you want to interrupt the experience with ads or in-app purchase offers?

“There’s often a pattern that everybody follows. Learn, understand and exploit that pattern as much as you possibly can,” he said. “Watch the behavior rather than listen to what they say.”

This is probably the biggest business lesson for developers to remember. As Smith suggested, there isn’t an app user alive who will advocate for a particular monetization approach.

“They want free, with no ads, forever,” he said.

Published on July 20, 2015 | By , Fierce Developer

Marketing Mavericks: 3Q Digital Interviews @AppPromo CEO- Gary Yentin

3Q Digital Marketing Maverick Series : An Interview with App Promo's CEO Gary Yentin
3Name:  Gary Yentin
Company: App Promo
Twitter handle: @Apppromo
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE? 
Seven years.
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT THE LAST SIX MONTHS, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BIGGEST SURPRISES OF YOUR JOB? 
The interest for apps in terms of development marketing and promotion continues to grow 
and turn into a mainstream business.
WHAT ARE 2-3 BOLD PREDICTIONS YOU’D MAKE FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS? 
Consumers will embrace the Apple Watch beyond predictions, and mobile video will blow out 
all numbers in terms of engagement.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RECENT AD CAMPAIGN, AND WHY? 
Burberry has some of best campaigns in terms of creative and embracing mobile.
Burberry Pandora Ad
IF YOU HAD $10M, WHICH MARKETING PLATFORM (E.G. GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, ETC.) WOULD YOU INVEST IN, AND WHY? 
I would go to Snapchat and Instagram for reaching Millennials and go to Pinterest to reach women.
IF YOU HAD $10M, WHICH MARKETING TECHNOLOGY WOULD YOU INVEST IN, AND WHY?  
Mobile Video RTB and DSPs.
WHAT IS/ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT METRIC(S) YOU USE TO GUIDE YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS? 
Engagement.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT, ATTRIBUTION OR MOBILE? WHY? 
Both, not sure you have to choose one without the other.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC BOOKS THAT HAVE HELPED SHAPE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY? 
Old school going back to the books of David Ogilvy:
51fcdV6eksL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

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So Many Apps, So Much More Time For Entertainment

 Over the span of just a few years, the concept of app usage has transformed from a novelty to an essential part of the mobile user experience. With millions of apps now available and more being rolled out every day, there is an app for everyone, regardless of age, race or interest.

But while marketers and app developers continue to add functionality and robustness to apps, they also must effectively position them to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Despite the increase in choices, the number of apps used is staying the same. A recent Nielsen analysis found that on average, U.S. smartphone users accessed 26.7 apps per month in the fourth quarter of 2014—a number that has remained relatively flat over the last two years. And consider this: Over 70% of the total usage is coming from the top 200 apps.

However, while there appears to be a consumer threshold to the total number of apps people are willing and/or able to actively use during the month, the time they spend engaging on those apps has increased. In fact, the monthly time spent per person has increased from 23 hours and two minutes in fourth-quarter 2012 to 37 hours and 28 minutes in fourth-quarter 2014—a 63% rise in two years! So the reward for being one of the chosen apps is heavy engagement by the user.

The study also found that while men’s monthly app usage was a bit higher than women (27.2 vs. 26.3 apps, respectively), female users lead the way in terms of time spent. Women spend an average of 38 hours and two minutes per month on apps while men spend 36 hours and 51 minutes per month.

Another key takeaway from the analysis was the diversity of app usage among different races and ethnicities.

African-Americans not only use the most apps per month (30.3), but they are also spend nearly 43 hours per month on them. Hispanics spend 41 hours and 31 minutes (the second highest in time spent per month) across an average of 27.9 apps per month. Asian-Americans average 37 hours and 14 minutes per month, while white non-Hispanic users spend 35 hours and 25 minutes per month.

But what is powering the increased popularity of apps?

Nielsen found that the emergence of the entertainment categories is a contributor to the overall increase in app usage. In fact, not only has the entertainment category seen a 13% increase in unique audience year-over-year as of fourth-quarter 2014, but this audience is spending nearly three hours more on apps over the same period—a 26% growth!

The entertainment category comprises a variety of app functions, from those where consumers can check the weather to those that showcase the latest sports scores. Nielsen found that when it comes to smartphone usage, the Gaming entertainment subcategory is the biggest draw. In fact, 76% of entertainment app users (115 million) played at least one game in fourth-quarter 2014, and time spent on gaming increased by 1:35 per month to 10:02. Music is the second most popular subcategory, with a 13 million increase year over year among users. Meanwhile, video/movies grew to nearly 104 million users and 1:44 per month.

METHODOLOGY

Insights about mobile app usage were gathered using Mobile NetView 3.0, Nielsen’s on-device software, which is installed with permission on panelist smartphones (approximately 5,000 panelists ages 18+ with Android and iOS handsets). The panelists are recruited online in English and include Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American consumer representation.

Source : http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/so-many-apps-so-much-more-time-for-entertainment.html

 

Five Of the Best #AppMarketing Agencies and AppPromo is one of them!

@AppPromo is pleased to be mentioned as one of the top five best #AppMarketing Agencies by MobileCommerce. We are humbled and very appreciative that our clients and colleagues see the value in the hard work that goes into #AppMarketing and #promotion. @AppPromo will continue to work harder to enable our client’s successes!

Mobile Commerce

 

App Promo

App PromoApp Promo is built from the ground up to push apps and games, be them iPhone or Android titles. They offer everything you could need to get your app off the ground, including more than just ASO (App Store Optimization) and guaranteed downloads, but rather more nuanced strategies that create lasting results and continued revenues. With games like Moto X Mayhem in their clients list, it’s obvious App Promo is doing something right.

Apple is making a big change to how the App Store works

screen-shot-2015-06-05-at-1-58-08-pm

Apple is planning to get rid of the longstanding 30% fee it forces app and media companies to pay when they sell a subscription through the App Store, according to The Financial Times.

This is a big deal for publishers who sell subscriptions through Apple’s Newsstand app, like Conde Nast and Time, and streaming audio and video services who sell their wares through apps in Apple’s App Store, like Spotify and HBO Now.

It means they’ll earn much more revenue on content sold through the App Store, which could offer a compelling reason to keep developers interested in iOS versus Android and other competitors.

Apple drew some flak when it introduced these terms for subscription content back in 2011. The 30% fee was standard on app sales and standalone downloads of music or video, but some folks argued that subscription-based services shouldn’t be subject to the fee, as they bore most of the cost of delivering the subscription after the initial download.

The report comes just before Apple’s giant developers conference, where the company will talk about its big ambitions for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and App Store among other things.

Article from by Lisa Eadicicco on http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-getting-rid-of-30-tax-on-content-subscriptions-2015-6

Apple Revamps The App Store’s Games Section With Increased Focus On Editorial Content

@Appromo would like to share the June 2, 2015 article by   

Apple quietly made a number of changes to the way it features and organizes mobile applications in the iTunes App Store in May that are of particular interest to mobile game developers. Previously, developers relied on algorithmically generated sections highlighting new and trending titles as a way of having their games found, but now many of these lists are gone.Now missing are lists like “New,” “What’s Hot,” and “All iPhone (Free & Paid),” for example. In their place, including for the first time ever in the Games’ subcategory pages, are editorially curated lists instead.The removal of the “All iPhone (Free & Paid)” section was likely in part due to abuse on the part of app developers, as a number of publishers listed their games with “AAA” or “AAAAA” or other “A” words in order to show up first. That seemed to be an odd strategy since it’s unclear how many consumers will willingly download an app with a title that appears so spammy. But just as with the phone book in years past, there are always those businesses who believe that simply being at the top of a list is the key to success.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.12.28 PM

An old version of the App Store

The now-removed new release section was not alphabetical, but appeared to have been based on download volume, as not every new app made the cut. However, the section did give indie developers a shot at organic app downloads if they could acquire a lot of traffic within the first few days following their app’s debut.

Going forward, it seems that Apple is moving away from these algorithmically derived and more automated lists. Today, the App Store’s Games section instead features lists like “Best New Games” and “All Time Greats,” which are created by Apple editors and refreshed on a weekly basis. These are featured alongside previous launched lists like “More Games You Might Like,” which is a personalized list based on your purchase history.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.13.08 PM

The App Store Now

What’s also notable about the changes is that this represents the first time the Games’ subcategory pages (e.g., Action, Adventure, Racing, Trivia, etc.) have included editorially created lists.

These pages now have their own banner art at the top as well in order to better highlight the best new games within those sections. Within each subcategory page, consumers can browse editorial collections, including “Best New Games,” “All-Time Greats,” “Free,” and “Pay Once & Play.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.38.00 PM

Games Subcategory Page

To what extent these changes have impacted app developer varies, but a handful reported substantial drops in organic downloads, ranging from 30 percent to as high as 90 percent, during the first week after launch. Discussing the matter on private forums, developers have even reported seeing launch day numbers drop from ~1,000 downloads per day to just 100.

That being said, for a majority of app developers, the removed sections won’t have a significant or lasting impact on app downloads, especially for those who have made more of an effort to focus on being discovered through App Store search, or have more refined user acquisition and marketing strategies.

More importantly, the editorial sections mean those developers who build great games will be rewarded for doing so, instead of having to compete against an inscrutable algorithm.

It also means that developers who have tried to make a quick buck with scam apps, clones and other rip-offs won’t have as easy a time at being discovered thanks to the shift to curation. As you may recall in the post-Flappy Bird era of the App Store, a number of developers shot to the top of Apple’s charts with ridiculous apps, like that one featuring a bouncy ball that was nothing more than a GameSalad template, for example. Apps like these are less likely to be featured by editors, so less likely to rise in the charts and then go viral.

The changes, which hit the App Store in mid-May, are currently only being seen in the U.S. market. They’re a part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to showcase more curated content in the App Store, as opposed to highlighting broader categories of apps. For the company, it’s a necessary shift in strategy as the store continues to fill with new apps – Apple reported this January its store now features over 1.4 million apps, up from a million in late 2013. It may update those numbers again at its forthcoming WWDC event this month.

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