In an effort to get users up to speed with Siri integration in iOS 10, Apple dedicated a series of blog posts to showcasing ways the voice assistant can be used to control apps on users’ devices — including to create and read text messages, search through photos, and send payments to friends.
Apple also introduced SiriKit, a set of tools that enable developers to integrate Siri with their apps. Seamless integration with third-party apps and services is integral to voice assistants becoming a primary source of interaction for users.
Releasing a series of blog posts is an unusual move for Apple. The company typically makes its announcements during its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, prior to launching a new device in September, TechCrunch notes.
Apple is likely making this move for three primary reasons:
- To create hype around the features. Highlighting Siri’s new capabilities could help build up awareness of the voice assistant, thereby encouraging users to explore it and interact with it prior to the official iOS 10 launch in September.
- To educate end users. Ensuring that consumers know what a service is capable of and how to use it properly increases the chances of it being used. Not having an understanding of how a service functions could result in a negative user experience. This has led some to suggest that Apple’s 3D touch feature, a central selling point of its new suite of devices, failed to make the 6s and 6s Plus attractive.
- To stake a claim on voice assistant space. The voice assistant space is rapidly gaining traction, with many companies throwing their hat in the ring; other popular voice assistants include Amazon’s Echo, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now. Echo, in particular, is forging ahead in this space, already offering a number of integrated services. Meanwhile, Apple has an advantage over Echo, since Siri is built into all of Apple’s devices, giving it a much larger audience than Amazon’s.
Voice-powered apps could help spur usage amid the app engagement crisis. The majority of user time spent in-app is allotted to just a handful of apps, which could affect app publishers’ ability to monetize their products. Letting users activate and engage with apps through voice rather than having to search for apps manually could result in greater app usage, according to a Global Web Index survey. Two of the three most important reasons for using voice assistants, according to survey respondents, are that it’s quicker than using an app or web, and its easier than using the web or apps.
3 million apps available
Aside from app engagements, developers have another problem. Cutting through the noise of an overcrowded app market is critical for any app developer looking to build a viable user base. There are now well over 3 million apps available across the world’s five largest app stores. Delivering the right product to the right audience at the right time in this environment is imperative to the success of any app.
The challenge of marketing an app effectively has made app-install ads — an ad unit that directs users to download a mobile app — an essential tool for developers seeking to stand out in the Google Play and Apple app stores. This is why it’s not surprising that more marketers are using paid channels to drive downloads than ever before. In fact, over 80% of respondents in a survey of the top 100 grossing mobile app developers noted they plan on increasing their spend on app-install ads in 2015.
BI Intelligence, BusinessInsider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile app-install ads that looks at the revenues from app-install ads and how they’re expected to grow over the next five years. It also looks at the performance of app-install ads and how these metrics are expected to change over time.
Furthermore, the report examines the top app-install ad products and pricing models offered by the leading advertising platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Google, as well as newer app-install formats from Instagram and Snapchat. Looking to the future, the report examines how companies are shifting their app-install ad spend to new formats, as well as the new tools they’re using to improve optimization and ad effectiveness.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Mobile app-install ads — ad units that direct users to download a mobile app — are an essential tool for developers, and they account for a major share of mobile ad spend. We estimate 25% of total US mobile ad revenue was generated by app-install ads in 2015.
- A combination of new developers entering the space and rising ad budgets will drive increased spending in years to come. US app-install ad revenue will grow to over $7 billion by year-end 2020, according to BI Intelligence estimates.
- Mobile app install advertisers have traditionally invested heavily in display and interstitial ads, but are moving to mobile video and native install formats. 86% of developers currently use in-feed video app-install ads, and video ads are seen as the most effective app-install format.
- As formats like video rise in popularity, older formats are losing their appeal for install campaigns. Static nonnative ads are widely used but are not seen as effective. Free app networks and offer walls have also fallen out of favor.
- Ad platforms are now developing innovative new install formats to earn even more revenue from these lucrative ad units. New approaches, including deep linking and app streaming, are more contextualized and interactive than older ad formats.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts app-install ad spending in the US through 2020.
- Explores which app-install ad formats developers believe are most effective.
- Discusses what the most popular platforms and ad networks are doing to attract ad spending.
- Investigates new tools for marketing apps, including deep linking and app streaming.
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