Preloaded Apps Deliver Credibility, Security and Engagement
This approval process and positioning, when combined with the deep-rooted trust between the user and their (much loved and cherished) smartphone, creates the very real perception that the preloaded app is a legitimate and therefore useful application (why else would they come packaged with a new device?).
A preloaded app isn’t viewed as a third-party piece of software jostling for position in a busy marketplace. Instead, it’s often regarded as an essential piece of software which complements the device it is hosted on, helping the user get the most out of their new piece of technology.
Just as a successful PR campaign carries more clout in the media than a paid-for commercial spot, preloaded apps deliver the kind of credibility that drives better user engagement. And because preloaded apps remain constantly available and highly visible for days, weeks, months and even years after many users have activated their devices – preloading doesn’t offer a one chance opportunity for engagement.
Additional Reading: Native Advertising – A Brief History and How it Found a New Home on Mobile.
Note: The perception of trust is a very real one. Before an app is accepted for preloading it must first pass a number of rigorous tests. Because preloaded apps are so directly associated with the device they are hosted on, manufacturers and networks will want to ensure it does not have the potential to tarnish their reputation in any way before being installed on their devices. As preferred partners to the industry, the experts at Digital Turbine will be able to walk you through the standards expected by global manufacturers and networks for inclusion on their devices. Remember, because nobody likes unforeseen surprises, particularly when working to a deadline, it’s never too early to start a conversation about preloading.
A More Secure Environment
In recent months app stores, including the Google Play Store, have faced criticism for including apps which aid in the distribution of malware (malicious software designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorized access to a device). Despite their best efforts, with more than 2,500 new apps made available to the marketplace every day, it’s virtually impossible to moderate every submission with the degree of accuracy required to ensure apps are clean.
Security experts at McAfee recently identified 144 apps in the Play Store acting as Trojans for Grabos Malware (designed to trick users into downloading and installing unwanted apps as part of a fraudulent pay-per-app-install scheme). McAfee estimate that the malicious software may have been downloaded as many as 17.4 million times.
Further Reading: How Pre-Loading Apps Can Help Developers Circumnavigate Fraud.
But malware doesn’t just impact on app developers by fraudulently misappropriating marketing budget. Researchers at Malwarebytes have also recently uncovered malware hidden in alarm clock, photo editing and QR scanner apps available on the Google Play Store, specifically targeting Asian countries. The AsianHitGroup malware is a particularly nasty piece of code which subscribes users to premium rate phone numbers via SMS.
Bounty Hunters Wanted
In fact, the problem of Malware in the Play Store is so acute, it has been reported that Google is offering bounty hunters $1,000 to hack and fix malicious code found on apps within the marketplace.
While the vast majority of apps found in the Google Play Store are 100% safe, negative press regarding the marketplace’s security will undoubtedly impact on user confidence and particularly on less savvy users who may never download an app from an app store.
Remember: Half of all smartphone users never download apps. This could be due to a number of factors. Security is just one concern that is preventing your app from reaching a wider audience.
Preloading, with its strict approval process and restricted capacity (especially when compared to the mass market availability of the app stores), gives developers and marketers the opportunity to present their apps in a trusted environment where competition for activation and engagement is limited.
Note: While the availability of preloaded app real estate may be limited on popular devices and in certain geographies, there is a very real opportunity to target users in emerging economies (where smartphone use is growing rapidly) at highly competitive rates. Where availability is limited, pricing packages (including pay-per-activation plans) ensure app developers only pay for successful engagements – further reducing risk.
Further Reading: BRICS: A Smart Future Built on Affordable Devices.
Increased App Activation
So, preloaded apps are more credible, visible and secure. It’s therefore hardly surprising that app activation is much higher than any other form of app promotion.
Digital Turbine’s preloaded apps typically garner a conversion rate of 25 percent. This compares to less than two percent from traditional advertising. Preloaded apps also see a much higher retention rate (the only metric that really counts for the long term financial health of your app). Typically we see preloaded apps achieve retention rates three times higher than apps acquired via other channels.
Preloading also removes user concerns which prevent successful installs from other channels, including slow download speeds, limited data availability and costs (a particular concern in many emerging economies).
Speak to the Experts
Returning to the PR analogy we used at the start of this post, if you were looking to place a piece of news with the media, you’d engage the services of a competent and highly connected PR professional – someone who knows the right publications to target and who has solid relationships with the journalists and editors who count. It’s exactly the same when you decide to carefully position a preloaded app.
The experts at Digital Turbine have the connections to ensure your app is delivered to the right people at the right time. The app economy is global and so are we, with partnerships with leading mobile device manufacturers and networks around the globe.
Don’t leave the success of your next app to chance. Speak to Digital Turbine today and learn how we can deliver your app with the added bonus of greater credibility, security and engagement.