Welcome to the inaugural Fyber Forum series where we ask pros from mobile and ad tech to discuss the hottest topics to help us serve up some lessons just for you. For our debut discussion, we wanted our panel to share their thoughts on Apple’s flashy new App Store redesign, which will be rolled out alongside iOS 11.
In case you missed the news though, let’s rewind for a second. Back at the start of June 2017, the Cupertino-based giant revealed it has been hard at work redesigning its hugely popular mobile marketplace to place a greater emphasis on app discoverability. The redesign features a slew of visual enhancements, and also packs more than a few practical changes that could affect how businesses just like yours market and monetize mobile apps and games.
Among other things, the new storefront features a tab-based design that highlights stories, in-depth interviews, helpful tips, and collections of must-have apps and games.
Other highlights include:
- An all-new dedicated ‘Games’ section featuring recommendations of new releases and updates.
- The ability to submit three video app previews and five screenshots per product page.
- Enhanced discoverability for IAPs, which will show up on app product pages and even in search results.
There are plenty of other changes worth keeping an eye on, and you can read about every single one of them right here. But given what we’ve covered above, we wanted our panel of pros to ponder how the overhaul might impact today’s App Store marketing and monetization tactics.
Will businesses be forced to drastically rethink how they pursue fame and fortune on the App Store , or will it simply be a case of making a few slight tweaks here and there?
Here’s what our experts had to say:
Dan Walters, Calvino Noir creator
Apple takes curation very seriously and their customers know when they go to the App Store, they will be presented with only the highest grade of apps on the front pages. These changes feel like a consolidation of confidence with their ability to curate, with such fewer apps visible on screen at any one time. For the device users, I think this is a great change, it removes much of the confusion of choice with fewer options visible at any one time.
We have seen a big change in direction in how many stores operate. The App Store no longer competes with Google Play to see who has the most apps. We saw the great purge last year as old and outdated apps on the App Store are removed, while on other stores such as Steam, Valve talks openly about how they score games on legitimacy metrics and make games that don’t hit their required metrics effectively invisible to the store browser.
Stores are now more concerned with their quality than quantity, because it’s about offering content that exceeds their expectations, rather than drowning them in an ocean of bad choices. And as usual, Apple is taking the cerebral approach to push ahead in this direction and craft the ultimate consumer experience, rather than the reactive behavior that most other stores are struggling with.
Peter Willington, Producer and Marketing Manager at Auroch Digital
These changes to the store are definitely welcome. It’s great seeing Apple put more focus on games on their store. And it’s also awesome to see the company taking a more hands-on approach to editorial content, as it’s that kind of content that can really help players make purchasing decisions—especially when it comes to premium apps and games.
From our perspective though, it doesn’t change things hugely. It’s more a pleasant change that will tweak a bit of what we do. For example, having the ability to have more video up on the store is great. I think it’s obvious to all how important video is now, and making smart use of the video slots will be key.
Perhaps it’ll be interesting to update the store page to include a traditional 30-second trailer, a more in-depth look at features, then maybe a beginner’s guide video to walk players through the basics. It’s somewhere to start, at least!
Apple also notes that there will be more curation in the form of game collections, and that will be very useful. There’s such a huge amount of digital tabletop out there that’s great—including our Chainsaw Warrior titles, of course—and anything Apple can do to highlight them will be wonderful. Finally, I think SEO (called app store optimization or simply ASO) will remain as important as ever. We’ll need to get creative about what kinds of tags we include so that our games pop up in relevant searches.
Rujul Patel, SVP of Global Developer Relations at Fyber
The dedicated tab for Games delivers a much-needed assist to the organic discovery process. For developers, additional content like three preview videos, editorial content, and IAP bundles on the app page can be very useful tools to improve organic UA. But at the same time changes will be needed on paid UA tactics to account for UI changes , like the removal of “list view” of top apps and the addition of curated content that directly impact the real estate available for app visibility.
Image via Apple
Then there’s also the question of how to integrate the IAP listing, and drive upgrades instead of UA for new app versions in the overall marketing strategy. Will that lead to IAP-focused marketing to sell upgrades instead of UA and thus open up a new monetization channel? It’s definitely something devs should be thinking about going forward.