Author Archives: Quixey

App Store Optimization is the New SEO

September 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in App Trends - (1 Comments)

Below is a guest post from Aykut Karaalioglu, CEO & Founder of Mobile Action, a mobile discovery and optimization service company. Mobile Action is a supporter of Quixey’s app advertising product, Sponsored Apps.

Making a great app is awesome. Getting users to download it is awesome-r. And the holy grail of all awesomeness is getting users to download, use, and talk about your app.

But all these checkpoints seem a little daunting when you consider the average iOS and Android user only downloads three to five apps per month. And of those, 26% are opened only once and never used again, and another 48% are opened 10 times or less.

The first rule to mobile user acquisition is: User acquisition happens before it begins. What we mean by this Confucian saying, is that you have to understand your end goals before you build the process for attracting users. For example, are you trying to get users to just download you app, never to look at it again? Are you trying to build a community? Are you trying to promote a complementary product or service? Your end user goal dictates your approach to app store optimization.

Now that you’ve fully formed your user end-goals, it’s time to get some users! This happens through a process of app store optimization and promotion (notice I said “process”, implying the importance of adjusting your methods in response to data from trends and overall app trends).

When operating in the confined space of a mobile screen, every detail counts. In fact, not only is the app store foreign territory for many, but there is really no blanket rule of thumb when it comes to optimization. Apps are all different. App stores are all different. And most frustratingly, app store algorithms are closely guarded secrets by Apple, Google, etc.

So what is App Store Optimization? Better known as ASO, it is basically what SEO is for websites, in the app store. You get the right formula of keywords, description, app name, screenshots, and reviews to motivate your target users to download. From our experience, monthly you should be getting $300-$600 in sales from just app store optimization. With promotion, our clients have seen CPIs down 15x.

Creating the perfect environment for app success doesn’t have to come at a huge cost. It takes a good understanding of the app store and consistency in tracking and adjusting your strategies.

Please feel free to contact me for comments and questions: aykut@themobileaction.com

Apps for Making Music

August 15th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Favorite Apps - (0 Comments)

At Quixey we love intuitive and creative apps. Here are a few we admire for how they allow users to make and learn new music:

Musyc

Musyc, available for free on iPhone, is a unique app that turns your drawings and shapes into music. There are 64 instruments organized into 16 groups produced by Fingerlab, which produce different sounds and beats when organized in different ways. Users can compose a near infinite amount of sounds, watching them bounce around on the screen.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqpuCRF-uoc#at=14[/youtube]

 

Piano Master

Piano Master, available on iPhone and Android, is a music game along the same vein of console classics like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It features songs composed by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, and many other classic composers as well as modern artists. The game works on various difficulty levels, wherein falling blocks prompt the user to play a song. Great for practicing timing on the go!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZNX1iMvRBU[/youtube]

 

Figure

Figure is an innovative iPhone app that allows users to quickly create songs with drums, bass, and lead synth simply by sliding a finger across the play pad. It doesn’t require any musical skills, but for those that are more musically inclined, music creation takes on a new kind of fun. You can tweak the rhythm, range, and scale, and adjust levels with the mixer. Best of all, you can save, browse, and load your song files when you’re done!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLLjRH6GJec[/youtube]

Seen any cool music making apps yourself? We’d love to hear about them! Send thoughts to victor@quixey.com.

Apps Should Have Ads After All

August 8th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in App Trends - (0 Comments)

According to a recent report by Flurry, users are demonstrating behavior that goes directly against the common view that people hate seeing ads within their apps. Data from a study of 350,000 apps that use Flurry Analytics shows overwhelmingly that users would much rather get an app for free than pay even $.99 for the same app just to avoid ads. Although this doesn’t mean that those who choose free apps like the ads, it does mean that they’re tolerant enough of them as long as the content itself remains free.

Today, 90% of apps are free, opting to monetize through either in-app ads, or the “fremium” model, which encourages users to download an app for free and then purchase content within the app in order to enhance its experience (to better your score in Dots, for example). The below chart shows the climbing trend of free apps over the past few years:

These stats can largely be attributed to consumers’ desire for free content over the highest quality content possible — that is, content free of intrusive ads. Of course, these wants vary across different app genres (ads in games are much different than in enterprise apps), but largely, user sentiment favors free apps.

As for app pricing across platforms, the data shows an interesting parity:

On Android, the average app price is less than three times the average price on iPhones, suggesting that Android users prefer free apps more than iPhone users. This also implies that they’re more willing to tolerate ads, as long as the the apps they use are providing quality content between each disruption. On iPad, the average price is over twice as high as on iPhone — this is likely attributed to the higher relative income of iPad owners, and thus their willingness to purchase high-end apps that take full advantage of a larger screen.

So what can we take away from this data? If users claim to hate ads, why does their app downloading behavior contradict this to such a large extent? More importantly, with the understanding that users value free content over maximum possible quality, what’s the best way for developers to build apps that simultaneously keep users happy and generate revenue?

The answer starts and ends with user experience. Over the past four years, it’s been demonstrated that users will tolerate ads as long as they don’t take away from the content within the app itself. With this knowledge in mind, developers must focus on not only non-intrusive ads, but ads that display relevant content when they do appear in front of a user. User experience is key in any product, and although ads are an effective monetization tool, they’re a high potential barrier to quality. Developers must tread lightly: just because users seem not to care about ads, that’s not a power to be abused.

Announcing the AppURL Initiative!

August 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in App Trends | Quixey News - (0 Comments)

Today we officially launched AppURL, an open initiative to connect native apps to the web with http URLs. Traditionally, a user has to manually launch an app and manually navigate to the right content within the app – with AppURL, deep linking is enabled to content inside apps, and works seamlessly across all devices and platforms. Currently, the AppURL Initiative is supported by search engines, browsers, carriers, and manufacturers, including QuixeyGogobotDuckDuckGoUCWebHubblBlekkoSwrve and Appurify.

How AppURL works

When a user clicks an AppURL link, the right app will launch and automatically display the right in-app content (e.g. information about a specific restaurant), provided that the app is installed on the user’s device. If the app is not installed on the user’s device, the AppURL link will launch the user’s web browser, which will also display the desired content via a page on the app’s website.

“Swrve is all about helping app-developers deliver awesome user experiences and maximize in-app revenues,” said Hugh Reynolds, CEO of Swrve. “With the rapid convergence of app and online worlds, it is essential that mobile businesses can avail of all the marketing techniques that their cousins in the online world enjoy. The AppURL initiative is a great example of that philosophy in action, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of the targeted in-app marketing campaigns our customers use to drive revenue.”

The Benefits of AppURL

  • App Search Optimization
    App search engines can gather more data about each app by crawling in-app URLs. This helps AppURL-enabled apps increase their search ranking.
  • Deep Linking
    Link into a particular state of an app, instead of forcing users to manually navigate from the home screen to their desired content
  • Universal URLs
    AppURL makes http URLs, traditionally used only on the web, work seamlessly for native apps across all platforms and devices
We’re thrilled to launch this open initiative and encourage all developers to join the cause. Our vision for the future of the web is an open one that allows seamless navigation between the web and apps. AppURL is a big step in that direction – learn more about it here.

The Quixey Tweet Awards Are Back – Edition 3!

August 1st, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Tweet Awards - (0 Comments)

Time for another round of the Quixey Tweet Awards. We’re appreciative of all our partners, friends, and fans of Quixey who spread word about us on Twitter, so we wanted to show some love back!

The “wish I though of that” Award:

 

The Interview Award:

 

The Road Trip Award:

 

The Local Love Award:

 

The CEO Award:

 

The Fierce Award:

 

Thanks again for all your support! We’re growing and moving faster every day — can’t wait to show you what’s around each corner.

Reach the Right Users to Download Your App

July 29th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

We are living in such an exciting time right now–at Quixey, we call it Constant Interactivity. A recent Flurry study reports that people spend an average of two hours per day interacting with apps on their smart phones, although you probably don’t require market research to confirm this truth–you see it everywhere. Consumers of all ages are mesmerized with content on mobile devices, day and night.

This presents an exceptional opportunity for app marketers to create innovative advertisements that do more than boring, distracting banner ads ever could. To that end, Quixey recently launched its Sponsored Apps program in beta, an opportunity for apps to promote their products while users are looking for apps. Sponsored Apps is a very natural evolution for us knowing that fundamentally, people still want find the right apps, and just as important, apps want to find the right people.

Millions of people all over the world use Quixey to discover and download apps all day, every day; we are seeing that number go up as we continue to add new partners. In fact, some of the most well-known brands in the world leverage Quixey’s advertising platform to drive app downloads and app awareness.

So how does Quixey’s app advertising platform work?

It’s a seamless experience. First, the user searches for apps by describing what they want to do (intent) in the Quixey search bar. Just like in the image to the right, they then see the promoted app. By targeting the user at the point of discovery, the marketer drives more downloads for their app.

Why Every Marketing Plan Needs to Include Sponsored Apps

1. Timing is everything. Since Sponsored Apps allows advertisers to reach users while they’re actively looking for apps, 100% of Quixey users are looking for new apps with the intent to download.

2. Relevancy. Marketers and advertisers want to reach the right users for the right products. It’s a no brainer that they need to reach the people who are searching for what they offer.

3. Never miss an opportunity. Consistency is key here – users are constantly looking for unique apps, and downloads need to be captured at a steady rate. Quixey’s Sponsored Apps ensures that every interested user is captured.

If you’re an app marketer or advertiser, we’d love to help you out. Check out our website for more info and to contact us: www.quixey.com/advertisers

 

Driving Smarter: In-Car Apps

July 18th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in App Trends | Technology Trends - (0 Comments)

As more and more devices continue to turn “smart” thanks to connectivity with mobile devices through apps, innovation has spurred greater functionality. Smart dryers, smart stoves, smart thermostats, and more have all given rise to the smart home, and smartphones themselves have made us superhuman. So it’s no surprise that one of the primary modes of transport that takes us superhumans to and from our smart homes is on the fast track to smart status: the car.

For years, the only sort of media available in cars has been the radio. AM, FM, and a few knobs. Siruis, XM, and Pandora have offered much more advanced radio options recently, but the move to a wide sample of in-car apps has remained very slow. Radio apps are a no-brainer, as music has been a staple of the car ride for decades, but deciding how to maximize the potential of digital car dashboards is a tricky task, as safety while driving is a primary concern. Any apps that require more than a swipe or tap to be operated divert the driver’s attention away from the wheel too much, and thus will never be allowed.

Despite the restrictions placed on in-car connected experiences, auto-makers are now finally starting to embrace the possibilities of embedded car apps. GM, for example, plans to fill 300 “information technologies” positions by the end of the year to create apps for its next generation of connected vehicles. It foresees its new information technology centers to be a boon for developers looking to get involved on projects where they can have an immediate impact — building apps that monitor fuel efficiency, track mileage for business expenses, and allow young drivers to log their daytime and nighttime driving hours. Over the next three to five years, GM plans to hire a total of 4,400 workers devoted to these types of projects.

BMW is also beginning to put an emphasis on in-car apps, making a strong push for voice commands so as to minimize driver distraction. The company is experimenting with solutions such as touching the wheel or dashboard to activate Google verbally, allowing the driver to search for directions and information and have the car relay answers to them aloud. There’s also a number of enticing social opportunities, such as checking statuses and tweets without ever having to look down.

Vehicle manufacturers want to enhance the experience of their cars as much as possible, but rightfully acknowledge that the appropriate apps and connected technologies must dance a line between accessibility, safety, and value to the driver. Some auto-makers have turned to established mobile apps for clues on how best to integrate services, such as Ford, who recently began syncing some of its vehicles up to Roximity. Roximity is an iPhone app that alerts users to the best deals at restaurants and stores based on their location. This means Ford drivers can now be alerted to such deals out loud as they drive by them — a safe and useful app integration.

Technology is revolutionizing the way we commute and travel, and with self-driving cars on the horizon, manufacturers soon may not even need to be concerned with driver distraction. In the future, look for higher connectivity with mobile apps as more and more cars turn “smart,” as well as connectivity with your home (controlling your Nest thermostat, for instance) and wherever else you spend a solid chunk of your time day to day.

Connected world, here we come.

Segmenting the Mobile Market

July 11th, 2013 | Posted by Quixey in Technology Trends - (0 Comments)

In the last six years, since the release of Apple’s first iteration of the iPhone, the mobile space has rapidly carved itself into a marketplace intriguing for consumers, businesses, analysts, and advertisers alike. Behavior on smartphones has been monitored closely since they hit mainstream prominence, but with the introduction of tablets (again, beginning with Apple’s iPad) in 2010, the market suddenly became unsure how to differentiate the larger screens from the smaller.

Distinction in use between smartphones, tablets, and “phablets,” is clearly driven by size, but when the lines between each respective device became blurred, so too did the primary behaviors on each become harder to define. After a few years on the market though, tablets, having the largest screens, are now generally found to be best for leisurely activities such as media consumption and shopping. Despite the fact that smartphones see more US consumers than tablets (102 million vs. 95 million in 2013), eMarketer points out that this is in part because more consumers own smartphones than tablets and thus use them in more situations. When it comes to actual purchasing, however, tablet owners are expected to make more purchases on their devices this year than smartphone owners (71 million vs. 53 million):

eMarketer further highlights that between smartphones and tablets, the portion of users using leading web brands’ apps and sites is very similar for Google, Facebook, Youtube, and Yahoo! (in that order). But beyond those brands, behavior between smartphones and tablets begins to diverge — tablet users seem to have a much higher inclination to access Amazon, Skype, MSN/Windows Live, and Bing compared with smartphone users. Furthermore, taking a look at entertainment activities across PCs, smartphones, and tablets shows that the tablet is truly starting to establish itself as its own unique device:

If tablets are more popular for most entertainment activities than PCs or smartphones, and if brands like Amazon have a greater hold on tablet users, this knowledge becomes very valuable for advertisers. It can inform the decisions they make when deciding not only how to tackle different screen sizes, but more importantly different screen uses. Agencies and advertisers alike have finally begun to segment their mobile strategies between smartphones and tablets, recognizing that although smartphones have a dominant share of mobile ad budgets (58%), advertising on tablets should draw funding from the traditional media outlets they’re slowly replacing — magazines and TV.

MediaPost recently discussed these trends and asserted that current mobile advertising data shows that ad executives “don’t yet perceive any media entity yet to be a market ‘leader’ in developing the mobile marketplace.” Unlike online digital search and social, which are driven innovation-wise by Google and Facebook/Twitter, respectively, mobile advertising still seems to be searching for a leader who can provide similar order and innovation to the madness.

As tablets continue to proliferate the market, the segmentation of them as a unique entity from smartphones and tablets will benefit consumers, businesses, and advertisers alike. The task at hand is understanding how best to channel the data gleaned from behavioral studies into smart monetization practices that enhance the experience of each device’s respective strengths.

Do you have a tablet? Are you using it similar to what the above data shows? Send your thoughts to victor@quixey.com — we’d love to hear them!

In the last half-century, technology cycles have maintained relatively steady, turning over roughly every decade. From mainframe computing (60s) to mini computing (70s), personal computing (80s), desktop computing (90s), and mobile computing (00s), advancement was rather linear. However, with the introduction of wearable devices to the public in the past few years (Nike+ Fuelband, Sony Smartwatch, Google Glass to name a few), the newest wave of computing is arriving 4-5 years sooner than expected.

This acceleration of technology begs the question: what’s next? Furthermore, just how quickly will this trend continue to gain steam? Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends Report highlighted the raw numbers behind mobile and Internet growth around the world, but it’s also important to consider the accompanying social and ethical implications that arise out of humans getting closer and closer to their tech.

Consider the sketch above of a toddler playing with an iPhone. What is the experience of growing up on smart devices? Gone are the traditional physical interactions with books, newspapers, even computer mouses — this generation will only understand and be comfortable with technology that’s at furthest just a thin layer of glass away from their fingertips. With that in mind, it becomes reasonable to soon expect a world where tech jumps from wearable to within: gadgets becoming implemented inside our bodies. By the time today’s young kids become adults, the wearable watches and glasses with revolutionary potential now will likely have given way to even more advanced biotechnologies.

Whether that means ingesting special pills, getting tech tattoos, or inserting chips under your skin, the possibilities of symbiotic tech are already being explored. What’s amazing about this kind of technology is how it signals measured progress toward the Singularity, the theoretical point at which the computing power of machines surpasses that of the human brain. Futurists like Ray Kurzweil expect this to happen sometime around 2045 — which is still far away, but not that far.

The philosophical and moral dilemmas surrounding symbiotic tech are sure to be debated at great length as humans and technology meld closer and closer to one another. In a few decades, tech embedded in the human body may well be a very common occurrence, vastly expanding human potential and calling into question the very definition of “human.” Furthermore, there are legitimate concerns — black markets, privacy/tracking issues, and further widening of the poverty gap, for example. However, it’s important to note that these issues are always relative to the time in which they arise. As technology cycles accelerate, so too will privacy practices, law enforcement, and so on.

It’s unclear whether the Singularity will happen as current futurists predict it, or exactly how symbiotic tech will affect the everyday life of those who elect to use it. One thing that’s not in doubt though is the ever-increasing intimacy of our relationship to technology. Let’s see how the love-affair evolves.