Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, August 19, 2011

Android App Users Less Adventurous

If you're not in the Top 50 Android apps, you're nowhere.
Smartphone users spend more time in apps than on the web.
The hidden weakness of the Android platform is that developers are having a hard time making money; even harder than on the iOS platform. Which is not what you'd think given that Android has the bigger market share, but it's due to the behavior of the customers. Here's a new study from Nielsen that gives the sad data: 61% of the time spent on Android devices is spent in the top 50 apps; 43% of the time in the top 10. That's an extraordinary concentration of time; it means that if you're not one of the top apps, you're pretty much invisible. Which explains why developers are still targeting iOS first; it's where the money is. At least, iOS users appear to be more adventurous about trying out other apps.

Both the App Store and the Android Market need to have better discovery tools if app developers are going to have a good chance to make some money. Clearly, though, Android has bigger problems. Developers can help by creating better apps, and by encouraging cross-app marketing. Google also should put some effort into encouraging users to try a wide variety of apps, perhaps through some marketing efforts. I see that Apple continues to advertise apps on iOS, where Android partners all seem to focus on their hardware. Google should step in and spend some marketing dollars showcasing various apps.

In the meantime, developers will continue to be pretty much on their own when it comes to getting customers to buy their apps.


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