Apple rides momentum of App Store search ads into new countries

Dive Brief:

  • Apple has expanded the geographic reach of its App Store search ads to the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, where ads will go live April 25, according to a news release from Apple
  • Apple divulged 65% of app downloads follow searches in the App Store. The tech giant touts the ads as helping app developers break through the clutter of more than 1.5 million apps in the App Store. The ads have a blue background and ad disclosure icon.
  • There’s no minimum ad spend required, and Apple doles out a $100 credit toward the first campaign. The company said the average cost per download is $1, but smaller app developers pay 50 cents. It recently started to allow App Store search ad advertisers to duplicate current ad groups, settings and keywords to ease the process of creating new campaigns. 

Dive Insight:

Apple’s spread of App Store search ads, which were introduced in October, come as the ads have garnered positive responses. In interviews with publishers big and small, Digiday found the ads were outperforming other customer-acquisition strategies for apps at reduced cost. Apple has estimated the search ads are one-fifth the cost of most app-install ads. ESPN, Fox News and The New York Times have turned to the App Store search ads to capitalize on trending news and sports, per Digiday. Domino’s, Amazon and have also purchased them. The ads helped boost Fox News to among the top five news apps on the App Store, per App Annie. 

Early on its App Store search ad efforts, Apple highlighted that the ads scored well on The Appsflyers Performance Index. In its discussion of the index for gaming apps, Appsflyers praised the new ad platform for showing strong potential and awarded it with the third best retention score in iOS North America, placing it sixth on power rankings, although it came in 16th place for gaming app install volume growth.  In non-gaming, Apple had the best retention rate in iOS North America and settled in at number three on the power rankings.

Apple App Store search ads are likely effective because they catch consumers already considering downloading apps. That makes them better positioned than app install ads that run on various apps or mobile web ads more generally. Facebook, Twitter and Google enable app-install ads. Despite favorable reaction to the impact of App Store search ads, publishers told Digiday they aren’t spending a ton of money on them.

Filed Under: Apps Gaming Mobile marketing trends
Top image credit: Apple