While the iOS App Store generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers in 2014, this money was spread thin – the number of apps grew by over 50% last year. The ever-changing developer ecosystem has created significant opportunities as well as threats for developers. Here is my list of the five critical changes that 2015 is poised to bring. I hope this helps you use these trends to your benefit this year!
1. 2015 will see the first few popular apps for wearables, and a lot of debate.
Wearables were the most heavily talked about gadgets in 2014. The launch of the Apple Watch will further channel interest in wearables, with Apple’s history of enabling an entire ecosystem around its products. With its launch in 2015, apps for Apple Watch will quickly follow. So will the debate on advertising and UX. It is unlikely that this debate will be settled in 2015.
2. ASO will be the new SEO
Getting your dream app discovered has always been a challenge, with close to 3 million apps on the App Store. Crowded app stores are on the same path as Google Search, in implementing sophisticated search algorithms to make sense of all the complexity. App developers, like Webmasters, will not be far behind, with their White and Black Hat ASO techniques. Some people will get really good at it, and businesses will be built. Overall, advanced ASO will become critical to the success of an app.
3. Users preferences and controls will overwhelmingly determine ad targeting
2015 will see the decline of in-app ad targeting based only on basic features such as device, operating systems and location. Targeting will grow to be determined by actual user preferences and controls. Innovations such as app-interest based targeting will drive app discovery.
4. The enterprising indie dev will consistently trump large studios
Large game studios have found it difficult to replicate early successful titles (think Zynga, Rovio, King.com, among others), despite their deep pockets. On the other hand, we have seen the developer poverty-line strongly establishing itself. But indie games such as Monument Valley, Smash Hit, 80 Days and Papers,Please have become very successful through creative gameplay and stunning design. This does not need huge investments or established franchises – only fresh ideas and creative execution.
5. Video ads for app marketing will establish dominance
With the introduction of video previews in app stores and video ads in social media, 2015 will see increased adoption of video for app marketing. Similar to the popular movie trailers, game preview will help create enthusiasm surrounding the game’s characters, features and graphics. Video not only performs better when compared with other ad formats, but also attracts high value users According an InMobi study, video ads are expected to deliver higher quality users as compared to other ad formats like static interstitials.