Apple Rolling Out App Store Changes: New Subscription Revenue Split, Ads, and More

Next week, beginning on Monday, June 13, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off. Before that happens, though, Apple’s buys rolling out changes to its App Store.

Apple has begun rolling out several different changes to the App Store, all of which will have some sort of impact on the users accessing the digital storefront. The changes should help developers, which put together iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and OS X apps, be prepared for any additional things Apple announces at WWDC 2016 next week.

Search Ads are coming to App Store
Search ads for the App Store are being billed as “an efficient and easy way” for developers with a marketing budget to promote their app directly within the search results on the US App Store.

“Search Ads gives every developer the opportunity to promote their app at the top of relevant search results and lets customers download with a single tap,” explains the firm, ensuring that people won’t see ads for apps they already have downloaded.

As per Apple’s own stats, nearly two-thirds of app downloads (65 percent) come directly from searches on the App Store. Apple’s own auction system will ensure that developers always pay “a fair market price”.

Using specific keyword selection, demographic and device location-based targeting, gender, age, device type, as well as APIs for campaign creation, management and reporting, developers can target specific user groups that matter to them. Or, they can use a Search Match feature which will automatically match an ad to relevant searches in the App Store, no need to choose keywords.

“An ad will only be shown if it is relevant to the search query,” explains Apple. “If an ad is not relevant to what the user is looking for, it will not be shown in the ad spot regardless of how much you are willing to pay.”

First up is the review time for applications landing on the app stores. Apple’s review teams are now completing about half of all the app reviews within a day. What’s more, 90 percent are now reviewed and ready to go (or denied) in just two days’ time. Previously that average was up to almost as high as 10 days, so seeing it reduced that much is a nice change of pace.

Apple is opening up subscriptions within apps in a big way. Up until now, subscriptions were only available in cloud services, streaming media, dating, and news apps. However, beginning today, those subscription options are available as an option for any app. Apple is also changing its royalties split. The company will still seek the traditional 70/30 split for the first year, but after that it will change to a 85/15 split.

Discovery is getting better as well. The App Store will now see a more robust refresh rate for apps, so that more apps can be showcased throughout the week. Up until now, that refresh rate was every Thursday. On top of that, Apple will roll out changes that will filter out apps someone already has installed on their device, so you don’t see a lot of apps you already have. Sharing will get better with 3D Touch options, too.

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