Tag Archives: App Store

The Critic’s Choice: How Professional Reviews Could Help App Discovery

Critics like Kermode have a trust that App Stores could only dream of

Critics and reviewers are really bloody important in the commercial landscape. Sure they might not lend a direct boost to sales, a point the film critic Mark Kermode has amply demonstrated in his book based musings on film criticism. But the opinion of someone who spends their life immersed in the culture that they study, who agonise for their art form and write passionately can carry the trust of thousands and help people to discover greatness in the world around them.

Why, you may be thinking, am I writing about critics on a mobile marketing blog? The reason is that I’ve been mulling over a piece from Pocket Gamer Biz about App Store Discovery and the role that gatekeepers play in the distribution of content and it has got me thinking (dangerous I know). While I have definitely been pretty critical of the likes of Apple and Google about the role they’ve played in discovery before, there were a number of decent arguments that the stores actually are doing a good job in displaying and curating content in a way that is effective for highlighting quality apps that shine on their hardware.

But at the same time, I’ve been thinking for a while that the stores have an integrity problem as a result of the way that apps are presented and rated in the store. In the case of the former, the control that Apple and Google have over their ecosystems isn’t simply used to demonstrate quality; it is being used as a competitive weapon in the continuing OS wars that undermine impartiality.

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Sieves, Not Funnels: Reappraising A Mobile Marketing Staple

funnel

Funnel fun for marketers?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of language and jargon that I use on a day to day basis in an attempt to try and do my job. The recent success of the massively snarky thisisnotaninsight.tumblr.com site dedicated to picking apart the incoherent rubbish tweeted by Social Media Week London attendees has been dancing around in the back of my head for the last few weeks and I’ve realised that one of the terms I’m using is vague enough for some anonymous vagabond to pick me apart with. And that term, my friends, is the ” mobile marketing funnel”.

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Plants vs Zombies 2 And The Perils Of F2P Monetisation

plants vs zombies 2

Shuffling towards freemium failure

Making money on the App Store is tough. I know a lot of people who set out thinking that you can use it to turn a quick buck with a free to play game but that really isn’t the case. Even with a lot of knowledge and experience, it is more than possible for you to screw up your money making strategy to such an extent that it ends up being kind of embarrassing for all involved.

I’m mulling this over because of the high profile free to play failure from EA that’s currently brewing under our noses. Plants vs Zombies 2, despite a huge amount of promotion, hype and free chart topping success, is very much on the way to being a freemium fail as it struggles uphill to breach the all important top grossing charts that Supercell and King have effortlessly held for the past months.

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Would Free To Play Have Worked For Badland?

Badland

In case you’ve not been reading the script (or have been throwing it into the corner of the room, refusing to touch it lest it “corrupts” you), Free to Play is the dominant business model in the app industry. A report from Flurry into the history of app pricing has argued quite convincingly that the move to F2P has occurred because it offers developers greater reach and users fewer barriers to entry; culminating in 90% of apps on the App Store coming with a free price tag.

That perspective appears to have been reinforced by the results trickling in from the apps that decided to abandon their price tag to be featured in the App Store’s 5th birthday celebration. In particular, side scrolling atmospheric adventure game Badland from Frogmind saw download numbers jump from 280,000 to an astonishing 7.4 million in the space of a single week simply by being featured by Apple.

Which in my mind instantly raised a question: what if Badland had been free to play? How much money could the game have made from that feature simply by monetising the broader pool of free users? With a calculator and what I can remember from A-Level Maths in hand, I set out to have a go at answering that question.

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