E3: 3 Things We Took Back From This Years Show

E3Another E3 is over. We are back from LA and are still processing everything that happened at this infamous gaming industry show. From software to hardware, mobile and consoles there was a lot to take in this year but one thing is for sure – the gaming space is growing and thriving.

Here are THREE things that caught our eye at this year’s event.

1. Playing the Odds with Mobile Gaming

We talked to a number of gaming companies and found that there is a definitive emphasis on developing games for mobile platforms. What we heard was that due to the cost effectiveness of developing for mobile versus traditional consoles and because of the more immediate measurable reaction to the games – gaming companies are developing and launching a large number of games for mobile in order to test out what works and what doesn’t in the marketplace. Mobile’s low cost of entry compared to consoles and its fast and efficient distribution system to reach the market has made it the perfect sandbox to figure out which game is a winner with users for gaming companies something not available with the traditional console.

2. Ubiquity of Gaming and Emphasis on a Second Screen

There was definitely a common focus by the top game publishers – Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, on ways to play games anywhere you are with on any screen. Microsoft Xbox’s SmartGlass exemplified this the most with their app which allows Xbox users to take the game they are playing on their TV and transfer it to any smartphone or tablet that is in front of them. The app can do the same for other entertainment like movies or TV that you are watching on the Xbox. Users can pause anything they are doing on the Xbox and resume on a tablet and smartphone freeing the user up to continue the experience anywhere they want to go. IGN did a great recap of SmartGlass in their article which covered Microsoft’s announcement at E3 which you can read here.

3. New Gaming Console Hardware from Nintendo

With most of the emphasis at the show on software whether it be actual games or gaming console applications, Nintendo’s new next generation Wii U console stood out as one of the very few newsmakers on the hardware side of things. Where Microsoft took the approach of making any tablet or smartphone be a second screen using software/app, Nintendo created their own physical second screen with the Wii U GamePad controller. A great infographic summary was published by Nintendo Wii U Facebook on there new product highlighting among many things the GamePad’s motion sensors and the consoles IBM Power-based multi-core processor.

 

3 App Discovery Points Every Android App Publisher Must Know

Android App Discovery PointsWhere 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.

YouTube

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.

 

 

App Promo Facebook Fans Eclipse 3,000

We would like to thank all of our Facebook fans for helping us eclipse our 3,000 milestone today. As at this post we have reached 3,109 as a total fan following of app publishers and developers around the world.

We look forward to our continual growth on this social network and especially in continuing the conversation we have started with our fans on app marketing and helping them keep in the know on the major news stories in the app discovery side of our industry.

If you are aren’t already a fan, you can join in the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/AppPromo

App Promo Facebook Page - 3,000+ Fans

City King Accolades from Review Sites During Marketing Launch

Congrats to our client, Funton Games, for their social gaming iPhone app – City King which earned a tremendous amount of positive reviews by popular review sites during their marketing launch earlier this May.

  • 148apps gave City King 3.5 overall stars with 4 stars in playtime and replay value in their review May 22 saying ” there’s something to be said for a location-based game that has actual gameplay”.
  • AppCraver gave City King 4 stars also noting the games interesting premise of “incorporating familiar locations into your game play”
  • The iPhone App Review gave City King a perfect 5 star score stating that the “overall value of City King is excellent”
  • AppShrink said: “I must say, the idea behind City King is really awesome. Incorporating social networking with RPG style game play is a brilliant tactic and may prove to be quite popular. The graphics are well done, and the user interface is really simple to use which makes for a nice environment when you’re in a hurry to check-in somewhere and battle some goblins.”
  • The iPhone App Review Guy gave City King a 4 out of 5 stars concluding: “The bottom line is there wasn’t really much about this app I didn’t like.  It is free, it’s fun, it’s addictive, and it’s cool because it’s in your neighborhood.  That is what makes is more fun for me.  It just rocks.”

Also check out this great video review of City King by The Daily App Show  who syndicates their videos on YouTube, Blip.tv, Google TV, Boxee and Roku.

http://youtu.be/CDDLP260Ewk

 

 

App Discovery a Key Focus at Mobile Web & Apps World – CTIA 2012

It was definitely a sign that the app space has matured as the focus of this year’s Mobile Web and Apps World 2012, of which we participated this year at CTIA, had more to do about the business of applications than APIs, tools and technology. And even the APIs that were discussed at the session were mainly focusing on making money as was the case with Mastercard’s overview of their OpenAPI payment platform for use by the developer community.

With an agenda full of presentations and panels on monetization, marketing &  advertising strategies it was a chock full day of what to do to succeed with an app both in terms of discover and revenue.

Discussions kicked off with a SuperSession on Marketing & Monetization of Apps led by Josh Rochlin of Xtify with panel members Ted Verani from Trilibis, Dan Lowden from Digby, Derek Ting from Enflick and our very own Gary Yentin from App Promo. The panel discussed costs, discovery, revenue challenges and ended discussing the recurring  argument of HTML5 web apps and mobile web and which is better or will win the “war”.

Fisku, a mobile marketing firm focusing mainly on media buying for apps, reviewed the top 5 Mobile App Marketing Super Practices including the importance of working with multiple traffic sources and the need for real-time tracking.  Mobile leaders, Poynt and AirPush ads, talked about mobile ad strategies that they see being effective in the marketplace. And Urban Airship, Bottle Rocket Apps and MTV formed an afternoon panel led by consultant, Chetan Sharma to discuss media consumption strategies on mobile stressing mostly the importance of a strategy to keep users engaged and using apps including the use of push notifications.

Of course, we here at App Promo, are truly excited to see such a flurry of conversation and focus on the business of applications and we expect that forums like this will continue to grow as more and more app publishers are looking to make a true business out of the products they have in market. Congrats and a big thank you to Larry Lockhart at NextVision Media for putting this session together to add the conversation at this years CTIA.

Check out coverage of MWA 2012 at CTIA in Wireless Week: http://www.wirelessweek.com/News/2012/05/CTIA-making-money-mobile-web-apps/

 

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