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Mobile App Discovery Imperfect Tools And The Overspend Or Die Dilemma

Report by Karol Severin and Martyn Davies
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The 20,000 Foot View

Discovery is accentuating the app economy divide.  Superstar app developers can afford TV ads and supercharged digital campaigns to distinguish their apps from the ever-growing pool of competitors, leaving smaller developers increasingly locked out. Supercell and King’s combined            annual marketing spend is not only out of reach for most, it also drives up mobile ad costs with inventory supply struggling to keep pace with demand. While TV ad campaigns may be proven brand builders, the approach only works for the fraction of developers who can afford it. Consequently barriers to entry, or at least to success, rise applying further pressure to the sustainability of the app economy. Big companies always have big budgets but the impact is stronger in mobile because organic app discovery is not fit for purpose. Improving the efficiency of app discovery tools both within app stores as well as from developers themselves will lead to higher returns on marketing spend and allow new developers to enter the market in a more competitive manner. 

Key Findings

               of smartphone users wanted to discover a new app but didn’t know where to look            of consumers downloaded an app after someone told them about it, making word of mouth the most prevalent app discovery method
  • While            of            users have downloaded an app            the top            charts, a comparable            an app beyond the top           
  • Advertising has            on            of smartphone owners. App            advertising accounts for            of those 
  • Despite its            impact, App Store Optimization (ASO)            currently an underused app discovery            amongst UK retailers
  • Audiences aged                       are the most active app            but the age-defined activity gap            narrow
  •            of iOS users downloaded an app after seeing an advert compared to            of Android users            of Android users downloaded an app from the top            chart compared to            of iOS users

Companies mentioned in this report: Machine Zone, Supercell, Apple, uCool, Google

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