The Business of Mobile - Make Money with Android, mobile advertising and App Store Optimization

Friday, January 22, 2016

The #1 Way to Fail at Mobile Apps Business

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We all want our mobile apps and games to succeed. I know I always want mine to be a success.

There has been one very obvious reason for almost all of my failed mobile games.

And that reason is...

Monday, January 18, 2016

A mobile apps business strategy: one app a week?

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The distribution platform for mobile apps and games is so "free", that there are almost no barriers to entry. Neither is there much stopping one from publishing.

So, Ketchapp has decided this year they would be publishing one game a week. Are we in for a digital dumping ground?

I would say what Ketchapp has planned is one way to look at the business of mobile apps and games. (The other view is about complexity and higher quality and life of apps and games, a story of another post).

Apps Portfolio & Growth


I always advice anyone starting off in this to build your portfolio of apps. Use the apps to cross promote newer apps. I've always recommended this strategy to get the ball rolling and growing.

After understanding what Ketchapp has planned, I realised that the app publishing should not just stop at entry level.

Even when you have grown your portfolio, as a small duck, its still an awesome idea to keep growing your might and keep flexing the muscles.

Build Momentum and Avoid Drowning


If you can do one game a week, by the end of the year, it will surely help you get some exposure somewhere. Damn, sometimes this feels like buying the lottery.

But let's face it, if small studios like Ketchapp is flooding the market (and looks like the flood is from many sources), you may want to join in the flood too or you'll be drowned out.

Cheers!
Bill

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Waiting for the Indie of 2016

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The year before, it was Dong Nguyen's Flappy Bird. Last year it was Hipster Whale's Crossy Road.

What would the hit of 2016 be? Be sure to look out for 2-word game titles, with the first one ending with letter "y" (Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Clashy Clan, I can go on and on...).

These games should be major inspiration for us indie developers. They show that it's still possible to make it in the app stores.

They also remind us that often times, simple ideas go higher than the more complex ones.

So keep working on it, maybe you'll hit the next big one?

Here's to the indie of 2016!

Cheers!
Bill

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Review of Heyzap's Updated Cross Promotion Tool

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If you've read my blog looking enough, you'll know that I love Heyzap. They're pretty cool, have great developer relation, well performing ads, and their dashboard provides quite some useful tools.

Also, if you're a long enough reader, you'll know that I've placed a very high importance on cross promotion to drive an apps growth.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The solo app developer and Marketing

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Coming from a technical background myself, I at one point really hated anything out of coding.

I mean, it  excites me more making a new app than it is trying to change the color of the CTA button in the latest cross promo image of my last game.

But its changed recently. I really love the challenge. And Marketing is one helluva challenge!

The Marketing Hat


As a one man show, I'm constantly changing hats. I'm the developer, designer, coffee maker, product tester , publisher, and the marketer too!

And at this stage I love marketing as much as I do coding. And it would do you good to embrace it too, even if you're outsourcing the hat.

What App Marketing Is


Marketing is like leading a bunch of horses to the water. Whether they drink or not, well, that's where sales come in, but I'll leave sales for another day.

How do you get the horses to the water? How do you tell the horses there is water in the first place? How are you going to attract more horses to follow the path that leads to the water?

App marketing is understanding your potential audience, and  luring the right ones to your apps.

App marketing announces to the  world that your app exists, gives your app page the views it needs to potentially generate some downloads.

The biggest app developer killer is not getting downloads for a released app. So, in order to survive, you need to learn how to market your app.

My main vehicle for marketing has been cross promotion via my other apps. And done right, this can help get the momentum going  for your new app.

Change The Hat


So, if you're a solo developer of apps and looking at increasing your downloads, change that hat!

Cheers!
Bill

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What's in store for the apps business in 2016?

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With the new year, comes new beginnings. And let's start this one off with what's in store in the world of apps and mobile games business.

Every year, changes take place. And in order to reap the most benefit from these changes, you should keep up with the happening trends.

This 2016 will be no different. And here I share some possible focus areas for your apps business.

Virtual Reality


If you hang around the gaming space, you'll realize 2015 introduced a "new" toy into the market. The VR goggles thingy!

VR is getting hot, and seems to be easily accessed by more people. Sure, pricing wise its beyond what most people will wanna spend money on.

But history has shown that over time, prices of goods come down (especially when China gets "creative") .

It would be great to look at how you can make your games especially, VR ready. New market with very little competition right now.

Remember, a fart app made over a million dollars back when it apps were new in this world. Be the pioneer!

What I would love to see though is VR combined with Google Glass!

Wearables


Smart watches and glasses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to smart  connected wearables. It would be awesome to see how these grow in 2016.

I was hoping for a more aggressive growth of wearables back in 2015, but it hardly made a splash.

There's still hope this year with Google getting their butts back to a better improved implementation of Glass.

Android, Apple & Smart TV


More specifically, Android and Apple TVs. Just today, I received an email from Google stating a 1:1 support for apps implementation for Android TV.

It's really awesome when Google goes out of the way to help developers achieve success. And this email just shows how big a deal Google is going to make of the Android TV this year.

If you have mobile games and apps suitable for TV audiences, get this going too. It is going to be the console killer!

Not quite dead Consoles 


Speaking of consoles, what happened to OUYA? It's fun supporting the underdog. And I had wished much success for them, but really, they are nowhere to be found.

This reminds me of the Firefox OS smart phones. You see, to be a success, these devices need to get out there and reach end users, and not just coding geeks.

Yes, both OUYA and FxOS had pretty good developer support, but with hardly any noticeable marketing effort to reach out to end users, there is probably zero growth with these products. (Damn it, now this reminds me of some of my apps too!)

Besides, their competition is really too big. But remember the David vs Goliath story?

BRICS


The other thing to take note of is emerging markets. Brazil, India and Russia have huge huge markets that will be getting online this year. New folks on the block!

Take the advantage here. Advertising is still cheaper in these countries. At the same time, know that people from these countries are less likely to spend money on IAP or premium paid contents.

Work out alternatives on how you will monetize these markets. If possible, make customisations that caters to them. Indians love their Bollywood! Brazilians love football. What about Russians? And China and Spain?

If / When Google Play gets accessible in China, there will be a flood of downloads headed your way. Yes, most phones sold in China are equipped with alternative stores native to China, but remember there are still a big numbers of internationals working there. Plus a small percentage of Chinese can equal the population of some other nations.

Onwards to 2016..


So, I wish you luck in your ventures this year. Hope you will find success in more than one field! And we'll see each other more often!

Cheers and a wonderful 2016!
Bill