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By Ravi Pimplaskar

Storyteller

Preloads

The Power of The Preload

What two things do the 15 apps on the phone in the image above have in common? Well, for starters, they are used . . . a lot.

Every one of these apps made Comscore’s latest rankings of top 15 apps (across iOS and Android) in terms of monthly reach. 

The second thing? They all are preloaded on smartphones in the US.

These two things go hand in hand. To be a top app, you need two things – to be on a lot of phones and be used often. So one of the reasons these apps are able to climb to the top of the charts is because it’s literally On-Device waiting to be discovered by users when they want it. 

It’s the Device, Dummy

A prime example of this is Apple News. It appears on this list even though it’s available to less than half of all smartphones in the US (47%). But Apple dutifully puts it’s New app on every phone they make and that’s why their good, but not great, News app sits there among other app giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Not bad for a company typically known for devices.

Another example is at 15th on the list sits Spotify. Since it’s preload agreement with Samsung, users for Spotify have nearly doubled to 155 million while Pandora users have decreased by 23% to 58 million in the same time frame.

While Apple News and Spotify undoubtedly have some great features – would you really consider them head and shoulders better than other apps of their genre? Which is why the power of the preload driving them to the top of Comscore’s list cannot be ignored. 

By being on-device, the friction involved in downloading an app from the app store is removed- and leaves an app conveniently waiting to be used when the user is ready. And considering we open our phones half the time without an app in mind, just being there is half the battle for consumer attention.

And that might just be enough to make your app a top app.

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