Google is introducing an Uninstall Manager to the Play Store to intelligently suggest apps for users to uninstall in order to free up some storage space on their phones. The new tool presents users with a list of apps that haven’t been used for a while and instructs users to remove the ones that they no longer need.
What Brands Need To Do
In the past few years, a number of brands, especially those in ecommerce or the service industry, have eagerly developed branded apps in order to reach connected consumers. But as the app market matures, it is becoming harder and harder for brands to convince customers to download their apps. The new Uninstall Manager may bring a new threat to branded Android apps, as many customers download apps for a one-off purchase or discount and end up rarely using them.
In order to combat app fatigue, brands need to start exploring new channels and platforms to connect with mobile users, such as messaging apps and live-streaming platforms. Brands would also be wise to leverage the new Google Instant Apps to allow users to quickly access parts of their in-app content and functions. For more on this, please check out our latest Fast Forward analysis on the Google I/O event.
Source: Android Police
Google is ready to challenge Apple’s close ties to podcasts, whose name derived from Apple’s iPod. The Alphabet company is readying the launch of a dedicated page for podcasts in Google Play, allowing podcast creators to upload content directly to Google Play Music. Podcasts will also be included in the Google Play Music app, making it the first first-party app for podcast listening on Android devices.
What Brands Need To Do
Thanks to last year’s surprise hit “Serial” from This American Life, podcasting has been enjoying a surge in audience interest and resultingly, marketing opportunities, where brands aim to reach a targeted audience of specified interests with sponsorships and native ads. Earlier this month, Coca Cola struck a content deal with iHeartMedia to produce a coke-branded music podcast to target teens. Google’s added support for podcasts on Android devices will no doubt help further expand the reach of podcasting and solidify its status as a burgeoning marketing channel.
A new section specifically for apps that work with Android Wear capable smartwatches has been unveiled on Google Play. Even though the compatible smartwatches, which include the LG G and the Moto 360, haven’t even been shipped yet, Android users can now plan ahead by checking out the apps. The news came right after Google announced it will close the ecosystem for Android Wear, forbidding third parties to create custom skins or smartwatch interfaces while universalizing the smartwatch experience across the Android platform. This preemptive strike, harnessing the considerable public curiosity about what exactly these watches could do, seems to indicate Google’s confidence in launching the Android-powered smartwatches. And given the burgeoning wearable market and the general trend towards wearable tech, Google’s vote of confidence on these apps could solidify their lead on wearables devices as they continue to flourish.
This development in Google Play Music’s development puts it squarely in competition with iTunes Radio, as well as other streaming applications like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, which all have iOS apps and are more deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. As well, Google is offering an “all access” option which would allow you to store your music in the cloud, stream music across multiple devices, and include the first month free. All access also adds a radio option. It will be important to see who emerges atop this growing heap of music streaming services.
Aereo, the online broadcast TV streaming service, will release an android app in two weeks time in the Google Play store. Though the service is traditionally viewed within an Internet browser, or on iOS-mobile websites, Android access or viewing hasn’t ben possible. Though traditional TV has been pushing back against Aereo in the courts, the push to go Android shows that it’s essentially ignoring the suits at the moment. Broadcasters certainly won’t be happy, but they seem to be desperately trying to slow a fast-moving river of broadcasting and streaming applications that users are clamoring for.
Fueled by purchases from South Korea and Japan, Google Play’s revenue increased 67% over the past 6 months, as compared to Apple’s 15% increase over the same time period. That said, Apple’s App Store earned about 2.6 times more revenue in the proceeding quarter, largely due to the fact that its market share is so much larger. Google Play’s growth is still worth noting, however, and the third, fourth, and fifth most revenue generating apps were from Japan and Korea, pointing to a much larger trend of increased spending abroad.
In a continuation of it’s I/O conference, Google held a session on how to make money on the Andriod operating system. It shared some statistics on why its app store is worth investing in, and they were truly impressive: in-app purchase revenue growth jumped 700% in one year, which is reflected in the top apps as listed by highest grossing titles in the Play rankings. Subscriptions – introduced just a year ago – is showing revenue that’s doubling every quarter. Google, then, is suggesting in-app purchases are a great way for companies to make revenue while also advertising their product. As well, Google noted that there is a 1.7x higher purchase rate on tablets than on phones for apps, and updated apps that take advantage of new operating systems and capabilities perform at almost double the rate of monetization.
According to data released yesterday, 51% of all apps downloaded during Q1 of 2013 were downloaded from Google Play. But although Google had the majority in terms of numbers, Apple took the cake in terms of revenue, raking in 74% of overall app revenue during the same time period. And at the same time, although the App Store and Google Play remain the major heavyweights as far as app stores go, BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Store are still direct, though admittedly distant, challengers. Perhaps surprisingly, the strongest growth over the first quarter of 2013 came from South Africa and Brazil, where significant increases in downloads were registered, but without the corresponding revenue jump. This means that the downloading capabilities are in place, but that people aren’t quite ready to take out the checkbook just yet, but many think that in the near future, these markets could represent many billions of dollars of growth.
Revenues from the Google Play store in Japan have grown by a factor of 4.5, besting U.S. totals for the first time. Android is dominating the Japanese market and apps are proving more lucrative for developers as well, particularly with the growth of in-app purchases and advertising. As the President of Kontagent points out, Android may monetize less well than iOS, but user acquisition costs are lower.
Google Tightens Up App Policy, Gets Stricter on Naming/Icon, Payments, Privacy, Ads and Spam Rules [Developer Letter]