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January Is The Real Black Friday For App Developers

November 20, 2015 - Written By John Anon

Black Friday is fast approaching. Of course by now, most people will already be aware that the one of the biggest shopping days of the year is only just around the corner. Retailers certainly will be aware, as right now they will be in the middle of getting their sales and marketing campaigns ready to go. If you are an app developer, then you too might be thinking about sticking a few apps on sale in the hope that those who pick up a smartphone during the Black Friday sales might be in the mood to load up on apps too. Well, it seems that Black Friday might not be the best time do so for app monetization. Google has been looking into this and has today released some findings on their AdMob blog, detailing that for developers, Black Friday is actually the month of January.

According to their research and in conjunction with App Annie, January is when the biggest returns from apps can be had. One of the reasons suggested for this, is that smartphones are more likely to be given as presents during the Holiday season and new owners are then more likely to use the month of January to install new apps on their newly received handsets. In fact, Google and App Annie have put together an infographic on the matter. The first interesting point which comes to light, is that last year there were more than 367 million smartphones sold in the closing months of the year. This corresponds with App Annie’s findings that there was a 20-percent increase in app downloads during the Holiday season. Likewise, in the same period Google notes that they observed a massive 30-percent increase in ad impressions.

Therefore, if you are thinking about a new app, redesigning an old one or just increasing the monetization from a current one, Google has put together three rules you should keep in mind. The first is simply to be prepared. If the Holiday season is going to be a busy app download period, then it pays to make sure that your ads are ready to go in time. This includes making sure that they pass the approval process early enough to be ready to be included in December. The second suggestion is to ensure that your ads are relative to the season. Everyone will be in a festive mood and that means it could be an ideal opportunity for your ads to be equally as festive. Although, they do point out that the Holiday season is celebrated differently in different parts of the world, so your ads should be relevant to the market you are aiming for and adjusted as and when needed.

As an extension of this last point, the third and final suggestion on how you can better monetize this Holiday period, is to ensure that you monetize smarter. That means targeting the right users with the right type of monetization method. If they are high-spenders, aim with IAP promotions, otherwise, you are better off employing ads. Likewise, consider discounts for any paid apps that you have. Although a discount might sound like less revenues at first, with an expected increase in user traffic, those smaller fees could end up being much larger. Alternatively, if you have yet to test out interstitials with your apps, then now could be a good time to do so. Their research indicates, developers could earn as much as 20-percent more revenues with a well-placed interstitial.

Either way, with a surge in user and app traffic expected to be coming during the next few months, now is the time for developers to start seriously considering how they plan to monetize during this period. Those interested can check out the full infographic from Google and App Annie below or check out Google’s Holiday App Performance Guide.

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