App discovery apps report


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A report covering mobile app discovery apps and how developers can use them for mobile app marketing and promotions

App discovery apps report

  1. 1. Table of Contents1 Introduction 42 What are app discovery apps? 53 Should you make your app free for a day? 74 App discovery: Platform interviews 105 App discovery app directory 216 Your Next Steps 25© 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 2
  2. 2. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 3
  3. 3. 1 IntroductionAs smartphone and tablet penetration continues to grow at pace, there seems no end to the tidalwave of native apps being released onto Android, iOS and other platforms app stores. Indeed,this deluge is worn as a badge of pride by Google and Apple, and is a key component in deemingwhether you have a successful mobile ecosystem (just ask BlackBerry and Microsoft). But while appdevelopers undoubtedly benefit from the burgeoning market, they’re simultaneously suffering at themercy of platform owners, as native app stores effectively monopolise distribution and – in the eyesof many devs – do a poor job of making apps discoverable.From mobile ad networks, incentivised networks, ASO, non-native app stores and App Reviews, asilver bullet for app discovery has yet to be found. However, a number of companies have beentackling the discovery matter head-on, by creating apps that aim to supplement the app storesthemselves. The rise of App Discovery Apps and Services is a key theme in the mobile advertisingand app promotion industry right now and it seems like this is becoming a major new distributionchannel. Whilst App Gratis in particular has generated a lot of publicity with its huge success and a$14m funding round App Discovery Apps are becoming a category in their own right with a range ofother major players in this space.In this guide we’re going to take a detailed look at app discovery apps, explaining what they are and,as usual, talking to developers and the platforms themselves. We’ve also got a pretty compehensivelist of all the app discovery platforms we could find at the bottom of the article.For more ways to promote your app check out our Mobile App Marketing Directory © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 4
  4. 4. 2 What are app discovery apps?For the purpose of this guide, we’re taking a relatively broad view of discovery platforms, butessentially we’re sticking to mobile apps that help you find other apps. So this approach willencompass incentivised app download platforms (where users are rewarded for downloading apps),pure discovery/deal finder platforms (which aim to offer enhanced search and recommendationfeatures), daily deal apps (which focus on offering negotiated discounted apps per day), specialisedapp disovery platforms and social discovery platforms.So what are app discovery apps? A few different approaches have emerged:Daily deals appsDaily deals apps (or ‘free app a day’ apps) are arguably the most popular form of discovery platform.These platforms usually negotiate discounts with developers and offer users a single deal per day.Their success is easy to understand. Users get a cheap or free app and developers get a massiveboost in downloads, pushing them up the charts. It’s an incredibly simple but effective format. Thebiggest success story in this area has been AppGratis, which is riding high following a $13 millioninvestment. Some of these platforms charge devs a one-off cost to get featured, while others chargeon a CPI basis.Deal findersThe other popular discovery format, and certainly the most ubiquitous (just take a look at ourdirectory below), is app deal finders. While platforms like AppGratis offer a focused delivery ofdiscounted apps to users, deal finders help users search across app stores for discounted apps.This sub-category, typified by the likes ofAppsFire, usually bolts on a variety of enhanced discoverytools to its core offering, such as personalised recommendations, editorial content, social-sharingfeatures and enhanced search tools. But their main focus, and benefit over native app stores, is theability to notify users whenever an app relevant to their tastes is discounted.Specialised app discovery platformsA specialised platform offers enhanced search and discovery functions within a single app vertical.Examples include Game Finder, which is dedicated to mobile games, and MagicSolver’s range ofdiscovery platforms that have seasonal themes. A specialised platform can really adopt a variety offormats to suit users. For instance, Game Finder focuses on discount discovery,whereas MagicSolver takes a ‘daily deal’ approach. The fragmentation of app discovery does appearto be gaining traction, as it gets harder for generic platforms to compete with the market leaders.This will probably lead to smaller generic deal finding apps fading away and being replaced withspecialised ones. Specialisation also allows a greater scope for editorial input and a curatedapproach as brands can develop a following from more savvy users.Incentivised platforms © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 5
  5. 5. A few incentivised app download networks have now evolved into apps themselves. These combinetypical discovery features, like daily deals and enhanced search, with incentive based downloads.The two biggest are Fiksu’s FreeMyApps and Tapjoy’s own web app. Whereas Tapjoy offers avariety of rewards such as in-game currency and credits for movie apps, Fiksu has taken a morestreamlined route, offering users iTunes and Amazon gift cards for downloading apps. Of course, allthe same controversies over incentivised downloads have followed these platforms into thediscovery space, but with FreeMyApps boasting over 9 million users, it’s well worth a look fordevelopers.Blurred bounderiesOf course, the above categories are by no means fixed. There are plenty platforms that mix dailydeals with a general deal searching functions and a minority of others that focus purely on socialrecommendations. There are also more unique platforms, such as Hubbl and AppFlow, whoseappeal mainly lies in novel user interfaces. App discovery is a continually evolving space, so expectmore innovations to come. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 6
  6. 6. 3 Should you make your app free for a day?Key statsWorldCrack reached 701,556 downloads after being promoted as a daily deal on AppGratis, whilemobile game Edge Extended received in excess of 1,500,000 installs AppGratis claims to be able to drive between 500,000 and 700,000 installs per day on average AppsFire tells us it can generate more than 300,000 installs for a developer in a single day FreeMyApps says it has an active userbase of 1.5 million AppsFire has been download more than 9 million times From what developers tell us, AppGratis CPI averages between $1 and $5 Hitfox tells us CPIs for its Game Finder platform also average between $1 and $5 Developers can start promoting apps on AppsFire with a budget of $2500 per day FreeMyApps requires $50,000 minimum for a campaign, according to developers we’vespoken to, although Fiksu say it can be as low as $5k or $10kAs you can see from the above stats app discovery platforms are big business right now and arereally helping developers effectively promote their apps. It’s no wonder that a company likeAppGratis recently managed to secure a $14 million investment. But while these platforms havegenerated some serious results, some devs – especially those on a budget – say they’re strugglingto see the benefits, as promotion costs are too high and affordable platforms simply don’t have therequired scale.All about the burstAtlee Cheema, an account manager at mobile marketing agency Fetch, tells us he’s experienced agreat deal of success running campaigns with app discovery platforms (AppGratis specifically), buthe says the market is dominated by too few players.“My frustrations is first and foremost the lack of app discovery apps,” says Cheema. “At least theones with actual reach. Generally it comes down to just a lack of scale. Because it is such aninfrequent event – when you make one of these buys you want it to count. You want to see somekind of push in the ranking and a lot of these apps just don’t to have the scale to achieve this.”As Cheema points out, platforms like AppGratis and AppRewards are all about burst promotions,allowing developers to get enough push to potentially create a snowball effect, taking them into theirvertical’s chart-rankings. Achieving this can turn around an app’s fortunes in an instant (so much sothat the emphasis on chart rankings has been criticised by many in the discovery industry).Cheema says AppGratis has successfully pushed clients’ apps through the rankings more thanonce, but it’s a risk for smaller devs to take, as the burst has to work first time around. You can’tkeep discounting your app with various platforms and you ideally want the promotion early on in theapp’s lifecycle. For all this to work you need scale and that comes at a cost. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 7
  7. 7. Paying your wayWe talked to Simon Billing from MeYuMe, a small iOS developer with around six games under itsbelt, including NeoDefender 3 and Cannibal Cookout. After a recommendation from a fellow dev,Billing tried out the discovery platform AppRewardsClub, which follows a similar format to AppGratis– negotiating discounts with developers and delivering daily deals to its users.According to Billing, his total investment to promote Cannibal Cookout was pretty low at just $200 forthe promotion, with no additional payments or revenue share after the campaign. He also had toraise the app’s price from $0 to $4.99 in order to discount it (which is another oversight of suchdiscount platforms, especially given the abundance of free apps). Billing says the results werenegligible. Week-on-week the game’s daily installs increased from 248 to 329. Furthermore the daybefore the deal launched, downloads had already climbed to 329.“Personally I think App Rewards made no difference at all,” Billing says. “The extra downloads weredue to the price drop – something I could have achieved on my own. I probably wasted $200.However, in their defence (I like to be fair) I did choose the day that all the big hitters in the app storechose to reduce the price of their apps for the Christmas break.”AppsFlow shows off its unique UIAtilla Beke, another developer we spoke to, also expressed concern over discovery platforms whenit comes to smaller studios. Beke, who runs 3dmagicbox, developers of iOS app PushWizards, saidhis campaign with incentivised network TapJoy generated 500 downloads with a $0.50 CPI and butwith some wastage from users uninstalling his app (a frequent problem when it comes toincentivised downloads). Beke also told us that the FreeMyApps incentivised platform wanted$50,000 upfront, which puts it out of reach for smaller devs.“There are not many things you can do as a small dev to be discovered,” says Beke. “Never everpay money to somebody, who wants you to make your paid app free! Almost everything that peopletry to sell you as marketing, can you do on your own if you take your time and you really want it.”Billing agrees with Beke saying his studio simply “doesn’t have the money” to boost his apps into thecharts and therefore has decided to focus on more organic methods. “I think now the app promotionmarket is becoming fragmented and a lot of companies are making rash promises which I don’t thinkthey are actually delivering on,” he says. “I think even the larger ‘free app a day’ sites are finding thatless and less users are responding to their campaigns. It’s almost as if the users are overwhelmedon a daily basis with free app offers. Besides, how many free apps can one user actually downloadday in/day out.Learning the ropesAppsFire CEO Ouriel Ohayon tells us it’s certainly true that using an app discovery platform isexpensive and brands that any platforms who promise “miraculous results with low costs” as “either © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 8
  8. 8. liars or cheaters”. But he says his first piece of advice to any developer is to avoid app discoveryservices until you understand how app promotion works.“First learn about the space of app marketing and all the leverages free and paid you can use – for example buildinga nice trailer, PR, etc,” he says. “Learn about ad networks and how they operate, learn about competition…. build areal marketing plan over a quarter. Not just a weekend. Learn about analytics, retention and life time value. Then andonly then come to app discovery platforms.”For Ohayon there’s “nothing worse” than getting ranked for just a day or two and then seeing yourinstalls drop off completely. He says developers need to understand how to consistently grow, retainusers and keep them happy, before they shell out thousands pushing their app into the charts.But the picture isn’t all gloomy for developers on a budget. AppGratis has made an effort to courtsmaller devs, bringing in a revenue-sharing model. So instead of charging on a CPI basisdevelopers split the money from digital downloads and advertising. The platform has been tight-lipped on the details of this model, but it certainly worked for indie-dev Etermax, which saw itsgame WordCrack generate 701,556 downloads after featuring on the platform.Ohayon also says AppsFire’s CPA ads, which take the form of ‘App of the Day’recommendations with the discovery platform, are relatively affordable, starting on $2500 per day incertain countries. “We can generate up to 300 000 new users a day – we did it recently for a bunchapps,” he says. “Now to avoid any bullshit, which is common in our industry, we do not drive those300 000 downloads directly: this is the end result of many factors including getting in high ranks. wedo not charge for downloads we don’t generate directly even if you managed to get to a high rank.”Discovery in the future?So where will app discovery apps go from here? One development that could change the landscapeis Apple’s recently introduced clause in its app approval guidelines. The clause says Apple reservesthe right to reject “apps that display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a mannersimilar to or confusing with the App Store.”All the platforms we spoke said did not believe the above clause threatened their business, in factmany believe it’s a positive move by Apple. Introducing more stringent guidelines may deter new appdiscovery platforms from being developed – and contribute to the lack of options on the market fordevs – but it could also force platforms to figure out more innovative ways to promote apps.Indeed, now that a few big players have emerged, much of the coming growth in app discoverycould arrive in the form of specialised platforms. It’s surely only a matter of time before well-knownbrands in certain verticals leverage their expertise and relationship with users in the app discoveryspace. For example, the wealth of gaming publications and websites, that command largefollowings, could easily develop curated platforms, as could any trusted music, art or film publication.Whatever happens, given the continuing deluge of apps, discovery will remain at the forefront ofdeveloper concerns for sometime yet. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 9
  9. 9. 4 App discovery: Platform interviews Below you’ll find interviews with a selection of the biggest and best app discovery platforms currently on the market. First up is Game Finder’s managing directory Hanno Fichtner, followed by AppsFire founder Ouriel Ohayon, AppGratis’ founder Simon Dawlatt, and FreeMyApps vice president Glen Kiladis.i) Hanno Fichtner, managing director, Game Finder Where does Game Finder fit into the app discovery ecosystem? How does it help developers? HitFox Game Finder focuses on mobile games discovery and acts as a quality filter for the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Our selection of the best mobile games attracts an audience of high-quality users with a passion for games and opens a new channel for game developers to market their apps directly to their target audience. How do you approach promotion within the app and is it affordable? The games in our apps are selected based on their quality. Within the app we have several options to promote games and then discuss CPI’s between $1-5 USD based on platform and country with interested publishers. So a publisher’s game can be listed for free and promoted risk-free with CPI’s that fit their budget and capabilities. What kind of results can developers expect in terms return on investment? Can you share any examples? We really trust our userbase of high-quality mobile game players and therefore only work on a performance basis. Our CPI’s are always pre-negotiated and very competitive for the gaming market. Our users monetize well and usually far above market average. Developers can also choose between constant traffic through a listing in Game Finder or go for a boost, which we offer in cooperation with AppLift. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 10
  10. 10. How are games reviewed and rated? Do you work with developers on this, or do you makeyour decisions independently?We employ our own independent editorial-team. They are dedicated mobile game specialists whotest, review and finally rate games in the three categories – Good, Top and Must-Have – based onstrict guidelines that apply to every game. They also decide on a daily basis which games will berecommended as the “Must-Have” for gamers. It’s actually a great job to play games all day, the restof us tend to become quite jealous from time to time!Is it getting difficult to make your platform stand out given how many discovery platformshave emerged?Our mission in app discovery is very clear: we only focus on quality games. By now we haveselected the top 1% of mobile games and sorted around 1000 titles into specific gaming categoriessuch as MMO or Hack & Slash. In contrast to most other relevant services, we have a specialisededitorial-team for games in-house which writes reviews and news in German, French and English.We are passionate gamers ourselves and constantly develop new gaming specific features to makethe user experience even better. For example we offer a daily deals list, price alarms, search-filtersfor multiplayer, internet connection or language, social features to see what your friends havedownloaded or bookmarking to allow you to save games and download them later, which is veryuseful if you are browsing on 3G and want to save on your data plan. We also introduced funfeatures and animations to enhance the user experience.What’s your opinion on Apple’s recent rules restricting app discovery platforms?Introducing the new 2.25 guideline was the right move to increase the quality for the iOS App Storerankings. The guideline was formulated to request exactly this additional and unique value toaugment the App Store. We see the rule not so much about restricting apps like Game Finder, butreally to ensure a high quality of 3rd party discovery channels. It only seems to support Apple’sranking system and generate new value for users and developers.The Google Playstore also has an interesting way of ensuring quality through their ranking algorithmwhich is partly based on app usage and uninstall rates as well as ex-post monitoring. It would beinteresting to see Apple going in this direction at some point as well. So overall we don’t expect a cuton app discovery revenues, but the players in this market will have to adapt.How do you see app discovery evolving? What can we expect from platforms in the next fiveyears or so and what are HitFox’s plans?The pace of new apps being released everyday for iOS, Android and Windows devices is simplyastonishing. Just for games there are more than 200 new titles daily, so the need for properdiscovery mechanisms increases constantly. App discovery platforms also add a lot of value for thestores, as a lot of additional installs are generated that would not have occurred otherwise. You can © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 11
  11. 11. see app discovery channels as affiliates from Apple, Google and Microsoft that drive additional users to their stores. The more apps are being published, the higher the fragmentation of specialized discovery services will become. However, discovery platforms need to satisfy the needs from stores, end users and publishers alike. As a game developer for example, you will not get many high-quality and paying users when they have only downloaded your app because it was free for one day! We believe that a high-quality and specialized userbase is key in this market. You need a channel to place your app in front of the right audience! Finally, do you have any advice/tips for developers looking to use app discovery platforms? Serious app discovery channels cannot afford to promote low-quality apps when they want to keep their high-quality users. Also, boosting a low-quality app to the charts will only help the app booster’s revenue, but definitely not the app developer for long-term gains and surely not to develop a sustainable business. My advice for developers would be to focus internally on developing a top notch product and then work with experts in the acquisition market who can generate new, quality users on a performance basis. In this context, developers with apps in several countries should also not underestimate the benefits of a proper app localization, especially regarding the individual App Store Optimization. App Store search is a very important channel!ii) Ouriel Ohayon, founder and CEO, AppsFire Why do you think App Discovery has become such a problem for developers? Who’s to blame here? App discovery has always been a problem. Way before mobile. Back when apps were just websites and people were accessing the web only via their computer. Directories like Yahoo made some order until both the technologies were ready for search but also people’s mindset was ready for more than directories. Then Google came in. In the world of Apps, Discovery is critical in the same way. Users need to find something that interest them and developers need to find users who will stick to their app. Here is the problem with the App store: they are huge, built the same for everyone, lack transparency on quality and are painful to browse. So users suffer from the discovery experience. The developers are also part of the equation and most of them are spending not enough time trying to solve the discovery problem they face. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 12
  12. 12. They believe that buying some ads will be enough, or hope to get featured by the App store…Whenit is a continuous and very hard task to manage even before the app is live.AppsFire’s deal finder platform © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 13
  13. 13. The discovery issue is critical because it is the very first marketing problem developers have to face.App stores don’t make it very easy to solve (not mentioning they don’t provide too much informationabout how an app is discovered in a store) and developers don’t invest enough time to optimize theirvisibility in a consistent way.How does AppsFire approach this problem?For the past 3 years we ve been trying to build a user experience that is vastly superior to the onethe app stores are providing. Quite modestly we believe we’ve been building by far the bestexperience to find apps. And that did not happen overnight.It all starts with a great user experience: First appsfire is personal: every users receiverecommendation based on his tastes. Then we bring a a catalog of apps that is highly curated,beautifully organized, very very very fast to browse and search (our search is insanely fast andaccurate), which brings at once all the key elements to make a decision and enhances the discoveryexperience by giving light on things you can’t find in the App Store, like the daily deals, the history ofan app, the videos from Youtube, the comments from Facebook or Twitter. Appsfire does not try toshow you every app. We’re more a “boutique” than a “store”And we don’t try to fool users: we really focus on bringing light on the very best apps, not just appswho would pay us. We help users in spotting clones, fake deals (apps artificially in discount). Beingtransparent is critical and when we’re getting paid we clearly mark the ad so the users know this isan ad and we avoid any confusion.Behind the scenes there is a massive work on trying to make sense of the App Store, we call it ‘Appgenome’: it is a continuous improved and curated version of the App Store database. It took us yearsto build it and we have quite a unique asset in the space, one that even our competitors envyThe end result is a delightful discovery experience, one that make people stick, constantly talk aboutit in social networks and recommend it here and there. Appsfire has been downloaded well over 9million times and grows without spending a dime of well over half a million new users every month.What kind of results can smaller developers expect when promoting apps via your CPAnetwork?We are focused on delivering high quality users in volumes. We can generate up to 300 000 newusers a day (we did it recently for a bunch apps). Now to avoid any bullshit, which is common in ourindustry, we do not drive those 300 000 downloads directly: this is the end result of many factorsincluding getting in high ranks. we do not charge for downloads we don t generate directly even ifyou managed to get to a high rank © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 14
  14. 14. App discovery seems to be getting pretty crowded. How does AppsFire stand out?Is it? It used to be but over time most who tried failed and are gone. It is a very hard problem tosolve. Appsfire is worried about only one thing: being the best app discovery solution in the marketfor users and developers. Competition comes and go. Right now we’re seeing more effort fromcompanies who are building mostly ad solutions and place the developers at the centre, versus atrue discovery solutions organized around the users first where advertising is not the first motivation.What do you think apps stores and app discovery will look like in 5 years? How is this spaceevolving?Impossible to say. it will mostly depend about two things: how the stores themselves willchange/improve and how the apps themselves will be developed and whether native will stilldominate or not. But one thing is certain discovery will always be a critical problem to solveWhat’s your take on Apple’s decision to ban apps that offer a similar service to the AppStore? Why have they done this and has it affected AppsFire?Apple’s wording is vague and accurate at the same time. They don’t want apps, any apps to promoteother apps in ways that can confuse users or in ways that are too similar to the app store. WhatApple wants to avoid basically are services that bring low value.Appsfire, as mentioned, is more a boutique than a store: and the experience is highly unique anddifferentiated. We also invest a lot in quality and this is something where we standout compared tothe endless number of “app catalog” apps which have a very limited usage.. So for now we’re fine.But with Apple, you never know what can happen.What we believe is that Apple and Google and others will always need quality app guides. Theydon’t mind having music guides and movie guides in iTunes. It should be the same with Apps. It isgood for users and good for them too What Apple want to avoid are abuses and low qualityapproaches © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 15
  15. 15. iii) Simon Dawlat, CEO, AppGratis AppGratis has been one of the big success stories in app discovery. How is it helping developers? Through a simple business model we help both big publishers and smaller developers and regularly drive between 500,000 to 1 million downloads for an app in one day. We only include high quality, relevant apps in our platform and are therefore helping the end users to pick out the best apps in App Store. We don’t do incentive-based downloads and we never force an application upon a user How viable is your platform for smaller, independent, devs on a budget? We help small developers with a limited budget by offering them an affordable revenue-sharing arrangement. How does the team decide what apps you promote? What kind of quality controls do you have? We put great value in only recommending apps with a high quality, because the last thing we want is for our users to feel spammed. Every app is hand-picked and tested thoroughly by a staff of 40 full time employees based in Paris. These guys hand-pick and review the best free apps for our 10 million users out there. We also have local editors from 12 different nationalities covering different markets to make sure it fits global users in different countries Like the app stores themselves, app discovery is getting pretty crowded now. Are you worried about the increasing competition in this area? How does AppGratis stand out? Our company is currently growing at the speed of light and, being a leader in the app discovery industry, we are planning to double both our staff and our revenue as part of our international expansion this year. We don’t worry too much about the competition, we simply offer what we promise: Free apps with no additional advertisements, no subscriptions or anything else that the user didn’t ask for. What’s your opinion on Apple’s recent rules restricting app discovery platforms? Do you think this poses a threat to AppGratis? © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 16
  16. 16. I don’t see this as a threat to AppGratis. Apple is always aiming for the highest quality possible and a change might protect high quality app discovery platforms like ourselves, by preventing the AppStore being invaded by low-quality copy cats. I believe AppGratis actively adding to the quality of Apple’s ecosystem. How do you see app discovery evolving? What can we expect from platforms in the next five years or so and what’s AppGratis’ plans? One of the next steps (for 2013) is to put even more effort into adapting our app recommendations based on the users preferences to make them even more accurate and relevant. It’s an industry that is evolving extremely quickly and we obviously need to stay on top of both the consumers and developers needs. We are also working towards becoming present on more platforms, like Android for example. Finally, do you have any advice/tips for developers looking to use app discovery platforms? Anything they should look out for? Avoid incentivized downloads, as that often involves un-motivated users that will not engage with your app. Also be wary about app discovery platforms that communicate false user figures. The user figures need to match the actual result that these platforms can deliver.iv) Glenn Kiladis, vice president and general manager, FreeMyApps Why did Fiksu decide to launch FreeMyApps and how does it work? Fiksu saw a huge demand by app publishers for high volumes of new users that will download and engage with a newly launched app. FreeMyApps exposes apps to more than 1.5 million monthly unique users on both iOS and Android. These users eagerly install new apps, and, as the apps are downloaded, they climb app store ranks. In turn, new organic users begin downloading the apps when they see it on the Top Rank Charts, which supports the rank achieved from their initial mobile marketing spend on FreeMyApps. FreeMyApps users receive credits for downloading free apps and then redeem those credits for gift cards such as Google Play and iTune. FreeMyApps also offers social media campaigns, which boost visibility of a developer’s app through social channels. We also cultivate and engage with the © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 17
  17. 17. community through contests and “shout outs” and gives the social community access to the newestapps. FreeMyApps is mainly used to promote Freemium titles. The platform also provides a solutionfor paid apps, which is a great alternative to putting an app on sale for free. For example, userscould buy a $.99 app and earn enough credits to redeem a $1 gift card.FreeMyApps’ gift card incentives. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 18
  18. 18. How are you getting around the Apple ban on incentivised downloads?First and foremost, Apple does not have a ban on incentivised marketing as a concept — that’s beenaround in many consumer-facing businesses for years. American Express Rewards is an example.Apple is against companies that “game” the App Store using bots (fake iPhone emulators running onservers and faking downloads). FreeMyApps has a passionate community of real iOS and Androidusers looking to discover great apps and games. This community is evident through FreeMyApps’massive growth across its Facebook and Twitter communities.Second, for iOS, FreeMyApps is a mobile Web HTML5 application, not an app in the App Store. Andthird, users are rewarded with credits that can be exchanged for iTunes and Google Play gift cards.This means that our solution pumps money back into the app ecosystem, as the gift cards are mostoften used to buy more apps or in-app purchases.Why did you go down the incentivised route, rather than some of the other app discoverymethods out there?Rewards-based marketing is a foundation of building truly great B2C businesses. It’s a great way toget people to interact and try new things. Plus, it works. While the true long-term usage rates arelower than they are for organic users, the costs are also much lower, so the cost per loyal user iscomparable or better, and when you consider the additional free organic downloads generated by ajump up the app store ranks, it truly delivers.How viable is your platform for smaller, independent, devs on a budget?The FreeMyApps platform is viable on independent developers’ smaller budgets, but to get the mostout of it, app developers must be willing to spend upfront to climb the ranks, then continuecampaigns at a smaller scale to maintain rank. FreeMyApps also supports developers who prefer toset a small daily budget for their campaigns.Are you worried about the increasing competition in this area?FreeMyApps is buoyed by a large, extremely engaged audience of 1.5+ million active monthly users,120,000+ on Facebook, and 170,000+ on Twitter – the depth of that audience and organic growth ishard to replicate. That said, in just over a year of running FreeMyApps, we’ve seen severalcompetitors disappear from the market. Companies that try and jump in underestimate thecomplexity and time it takes to build a truly rich discovery, engagement, and rewards platform thatdelivers results and gives developers virtually real-time reporting, as their marketing campaign is inprocess.What can we expect from platforms in the next five years or so and what’s Fiksu’s plans?We see app discovery evolving in the following ways: © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 19
  19. 19.  Increased focus on social channels. Fiksu, the parent company of FreeMyApps, justannounced a key initiative with Facebook as a mobile app marketing optimization partner. Engagement. We are building out the platform to drive a deeper level of user engagement forour app publishers and developers. Social sharing. Social sharing adds the ability to share a download or action with friends onsocial media channels, instead of just sharing a link to our siteFinally, do you have any advice/tips for developers looking to use app discovery platforms?Anything they should look out for?Only use services with a reliable tracking solution and great reporting. We take data integrity veryseriously here at FreeMyApps and Fiksu. Some platforms will claim installs delivered by otherservices, and some developers end up paying double for the same user – or worse, a user that didnot even come through a paid mobile app marketing campaign. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 20
  20. 20. 5 App discovery app directoryGame Finder – Mobile game discovery platform created by German company HitFox. Acts as a“quality filter” allowing users to search for only the best mobile games.AppGratis – Focuses on giving users one free app per day. One of the more popular platforms outthere, which recently received significant VC funding.MagicSolver – Creator of Free App Magic. Also has a few seasonal themed-app discovery appsbased around Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas and other events.AppDaria – The Leading App recommendation app in Latin America with localised apps forindividual marketsFreeMyApps – App discovery platform from Fiksu. Allows users to earn iTunes gift cards asrewards for downloading free apps.App Turbo - Another app discovery platform coming out of France with over 12m downloads of itsappAppFlow – App discovery app that first launched on Windows Phone and is now available oniPhone. Uses a unique visual UI to let users visually inspect.Hubbl – App discovery platform that uses a space-themed interface to help users find apps. Takesits name from the Hubble Telescope.Kinetik – Social platform that helps app consumers share apps and get recommendations via socialnetworks. Also allows devs to connect with users and promote apps.Discovr Apps – Discovr has a range of apps that help users disocver music, people, movies andother apps. Only available on iPhone at the moment.Zwapp – iOS Platform that helps you find and share apps with your friends. Very social-orientated,lets you recommend apps to friends.App Hero – Offers users personalised app recommendations based on interests and preferences.Also features a social aspect letting you see apps your friends have downloaded.AppAware – Recommends a daily spread of Android apps for users. Also uses a friend system torecommend apps. Currently only on Google Play.Playboard – Provides recommended apps and a personalised app store for users, letting youcustomise channels and see editorially handpicked apps daily. Android only.Best Apps Market – Android-only apps market that focuses on the top free apps and games.Feature apps picked by reviewers and experts.1Mobile Market – Android-based platform that focuses on free apps. Lets users find apps thatinterest them via a variety of categories. Doesn’t look like it offers much over Google Play.AppDesTages – German app discovery platform that offers a new free app every day. Only onGoogle Play and only in German (but links to English apps).App Freeway – iOS-only app discovery platform that showcases five leading apps weekly anddelivers them to users for free. Developed by Kankado.Free App Magic – Discovery app from UK developer Magic Solver. Available on App Store andGoogle Play.App Free – Offers free paid apps and offers apps at discount prices. Also allows users to track appsto find out when they reduce in price or become free. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 21
  21. 21. Apps Hits for iPad – Helps users find apps quickly by providing a more list-like user interfacecompared to the App Store. Lets you search by ranking and price.Appbzr – Disovery platform that emphasises finding cheap apps and apps on sale. Searches forprice drops every hour and provides personalised recommendations.Appcast – Lets you search app store rankings across 62 countries and across iPhone/iPad/Topgrossing/Top free categories.App Deals – App discovery platform for Windows Phone users. Offers one free or reduced price (fora limited time) app per day.Appiday – iOS discovery platform that aims to find discounted and free apps on a daily basis forusers. Provides push notifications.Appminer – App discovery platform from Bitrino. Constantly “mines” the App Store for pricechanges and deliver the cheapest deals to users. Also lets you set price targets.App-o-day – iOS discovery platform that picks one app per day and negotiates a free deal for itsusers. Also offers early reviews on apps.Appsfire – Platform for iOS and Android that lets developers promote their apps, boost engagementand increase their user base. Used by brands such as EA and Spotify.AppsGoneFree – iOS discovery platform that filters the top rated apps and notifies users when theygo on sale or become free. Also has an editorial team that reviews each app.Appzapp – Another iOS app that aims to instantly inform users when another app goes on sale. Cannotify via push or – Discovery platform for iOS that lets users see what apps their friends are using,quickly rate apps and receive recommendations.FreeAppFinder – App discovery platform from the German company RapdiRabbit Apps. Highlightswhenever paid apps drop to free.FreeAppTracker – Another platform that monitors when apps drop their price or go free. Lets youshare deals via Facebook and Twitter.FreeGamesDailyBestApp – Focuses on delivering a curated selection of free games on a dailybasis and lets you track price drops. IOS only.FreeAppADay – As the name suggest, platform that delivers one free app per day. Also featuresgame reviews and trailers.GameChannel – App discovery run by gaming platform OpenFeint. Highlights a variety ofdiscounted and free games across the OpenFeint network.BigFishGames – Discovery platform that highlights a variety of mobile game discounts. Available onboth Android and iPhone.HotAppFinder – Another discovery platform from RapidRabbit. This one gives users a detailed lookat what apps are trending and generating the most downloads.HotAppDeals – Monitors what apps have been recently made free and dropped in price. Also allowssharing deals via social platforms.I Like Free Apps – Lets you check for the latest free apps on the App Store. Features daily updatesto track price changes.Kinetik – Focuses on delivering personalised recommendations based on your social networkactivity. Currently only on iOS. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 22
  22. 22. MonsterFreeApps – Delivers daily free app deals to users. Says it saves its users over $60 permonth in app fees.Pandora Box – Lets you create favourite lists to track app prices and provides notificationswhenever apps become free.Tapjoy – Incentivised app download network that also has an app discovery web-app. Users getrewards for downloading apps and get daily deals and other offers.OpenAppMkt – Android and iPhone-compatible market that distributes web-apps built in HTML5.Unlike the traditional 70/30 split, developers keep 80% of app sale revenue.Biskero – Mobile content store that focuses on distributing Flash games and apps to mobiledevices. Works primarily across Android and Nokia handsets.Appolicious – Editorially-curated app directory that helps developers get their apps rated anddiscovered. In association with Yahoo.AppCity - French app store that claims over 340 thousand users. Distributes apps across iPhone,Android and BlackBerry platforms.Soci.i0 – Android-focused content store that provides apps, e-books (along with its own ebookreader), videos and music. Bills itself as an Android ‘mobile mall’.1Mobile – Android app store that focuses mainly on games and claims over 60 thousand total apps.AppBrain – App and website that helps users discover Android apps across the official Google Playstore and other indie stores.Tegra Store – App store run by graphics chip company Nvidia. Highlights videogames that aredesigned for use with Nvidia’s Tegra smartphone chip.Amazon Appstore – Amazon’s app store has been remarkable popular since the companylaunched its Kindle Fire tablet device. Currently boasts over 30,000 apps, and claims a higher paidapp download rate than Google Play.MiKandi – Android-only app store that focuses on adult-themed applications.AndroidPit – App store and website run by the Berlin-based Android website AndroidPit. Includesapps selected by editorial team.That’s it for now – you can find more mobile app marketing services in our Mobile App PromotionDirectory © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 23
  23. 23. © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 24
  24. 24. 6 Your Next Steps For more information about mobile app promotion head over to © 2013 | App Discovery Apps Report.doc 25