Playable Ads: Benefits of an Interactive Ad Format

Post By Hannah Downing

If you've ever played a mobile app game, then it is more likely than not that you have encountered a playable ad. In a recent article on Venture Beat, Oren Cohen writes about a few of the benefits of using playable ads. The first, as Cohen puts it, is the "try before you buy" perk, where mobile users gain exposure to a new app without having to install it. This makes a huge difference for mobile users because it is seen as a no-risk, entertaining situation that may result in the user downloading a game they already know they will enjoy.

Cohen writes why he thinks this ad format is so successful: "Like the Super Bowl ads viewers look forward to watching, playable ads are an ad format users actually want to encounter." Instead of the more traditional ad that mobile users must passively watch or view, playable ads allow a space for users to appreciate and interact with the app.

This interaction ends up leading to more quality downloads and higher retention rates, Cohen reports, which, together, culminate another benefit of playable ads. This is no small feat, as an October 2016 Forbes article cites Quettra when writing that after just three days, apps tend to lose 77% of their users and, after a month, this becomes 90%. While there is a chance that some people will opt out of downloading the app, those that opt in are more reliable than other types of user downloads because they tested out the app ahead of time and have a higher chance of retention.

However, one of the most important aspects to consider when creating and improving a playable ad is how accurate of a representation the ad is of the actual app they would download. While Cohen lists multiple characteristics to consider when designing playable ads, this aspect is one of the most important because user loyalty is often built on trust.

If users enjoy a playable ad enough to download the actual app, only to find out that the app is different than what was initially presented to them, there seems to be no quicker way to lose a user's trust and, therefore, the user overall. Just as important is how users write reviews on the app stores. If a user feels cheated or disappointed, they are likely going to let other users know. And this may spell trouble for the app in question.

As playable ads become more popular, mobile marketing companies will likely use this to their benefit. Instead of simple static ads being placed for mobile users to see, mobile marketing companies like Oplytic will work with publishers to see how they can incorporate and take advantage of this emerging ad format.

Will the App Store Revamp Affect Mobile App Marketing?

Post By Hannah Downing

Last week, Apple announced that it would be revamping the App Store for the first time since its opening in July of 2008. The revamping is mainly going to concern the layout of the store, as they are creating four tabs for organization, rather than sticking with their original format of sorting apps by category.

These tabs are Games, Apps, Today, and Search. The Games and Apps tabs will recommend and highlight different games and apps. The Search tab will function in just this way, for users to search for specific apps while showing the current trending searches. There will also be a few additions to the Search tab, mostly pertaining to what the Today tab will hold, which is where the biggest changes seem to be.

The Today tab will focus on a few specifically-picked apps that Apple is recommending to users, along with much more. As ironSource wrote,"The today tab updates daily, and features exclusive premiers; new app releases; inspiring developer features and interviews; an App of the Day, a Game of the Day; tips and how-to guides to show users how to make the most of their app experience; a space for influencers and celebrities to share their favorite apps."

Many of these additions, specifically the developer features, are to help both users look for a specific kind of app and the developers of apps find quality users. As ironSource wrote, "...Apple is redesigning the App Store to boost discoverability and help iOS developers get their apps in front of eager, relevant users."

These additions and their purpose sound like they have great potential, but the question mobile app marketing companies, like Oplytic, should be asking is what this revamp of the app store will do for mobile app downloads and popularity. For instance, if this layout works the way it sounds like it will, popularity and reviews of apps will still surely matter, but so will glowing recommendations from famous people and features in the App of the Day portion of the store.

Similarly, with additions like developer spotlights and interviews, users may also take these into account when considering whether to download an app or not. What this means is that many mobile marketing companies will probably consider how to get the apps they are working with into the App of the Day spotlight or how to get the developers of their apps interviewed and highlighted. Keep checking back to our blog to stay tuned as to how the new App Store affects app downloads and how Oplytic adjusts.

HomePod opens up the possibility for a Smart Device App Store

Post By Hannah Downing

On June 5th, Apple announced a new product that many people probably wondered if and/or when Apple would unveil it: the HomePod. This product is an in-home speaker, created primarily to sync up with a user’s phone and apps, allowing them to play from “…over 40 million songs” and it “…provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.”

This access to such a large selection of music comes from the assumption that many of the users would use Apple Music with the HomePod, even though an Apple Music subscription costs money, which some people may opt out of, especially if they prefer free music-streaming services, such as Spotify. When it comes to potential competitors, there are multiple to consider. Will people who prefer their free Spotify account, but are loyal Apple users, want to use the HomePod if Spotify is not supported? There are plenty of other Bluetooth speakers out there that let you play anything you’d like, but this is unclear about the HomePod, as Apple’s press release mentions using Apple Music, but does not specify whether other mobile applications for music will also be supported. It is also worth mentioning that prices are very similar between Spotify and Apple Music, but Apple Music does NOT offer a free version. At the very most, Apple Music offers a free three-month trial, while Spotify’s version is free for as long as the user would like, widening the gap between Spotify-preferring Apple users who may not go for the HomePod if it doesn’t support their music-streaming preferences.

The other aspect of the HomePod worth noting is that it will be an all-around smart in-home device, just like Amazon’s Echo. Apple even uses the phrase “Hey Siri…” to get Siri’s attention, just like the Echo does with Alexa. This is worth noting because, with multiple products like the Echo and the HomePod allowing for in-home integration with users’ devices, it begs the question, what will happen to the mobile app? How will its usage start to change if devices like the Echo and HomePod continue being popular with consumers? Similarly, how will companies, like Oplytic, who take part in mobile app marketing, change to integrate these new systems and the preferences of the people using the mobile apps? Systems like the HomePod may create a space for apps to be used in even more ways than they already are, which means advertising could happen in more ways, as well. This is an exciting and varying time for apps and mobile marketing. Keep in touch to see not only how Oplytic innovates, but also how we continue to help our advertisers and publishing partners.