Mobile Video Monthly #34 – March 2023

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Spring has arrived and this year it brought a lot of brand news Search Ads placements for TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. Apple finally launched its benchmarks metrics and Google put an end to YouTube’s overlay ads. 

Apple’s benchmarks metrics are here

Announced during WWDC22, benchmark metrics launched earlier this month. Benchmarks provide “comparisons of various product metrics from within the same app category”. This tool aims to showcase app performance on the App Store by comparing it to similar apps.  

Peer group benchmarks provide insights based on App Store category, business model and download volume while keeping individual performance private. Metrics used include conversion rate, day 1, day 7 and day 28 retention rates, crash rate, and average proceeds per paying user.

Peer groups need a minimum number of apps in order to be able to show data and still preserve privacy, if the number is not reached, data won’t be available for the week. 

In the meantime, WWDC 2023 has officially been announced and will take place online from June 5 to June 9. 

The end of YouTube’s Overlay ads

Google is putting an end to Overlay ads on YouTube starting April 6. According to the Mountain View firm, the goal is to improve user experience. Overlay Ads are the banner appearing at the bottom of YouTube videos, they’re often deemed interruptive by users because they hide part of the video.

In the company’s announcement post, they describe the legacy ad format as “disruptive for viewers”.

Search Ads are trending for TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest

Search Ads are apparently the new trending ad placement. 3 social media announced a brand new Search Ads placement this week: TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. 

It makes sense for TikTok to work on this new placement, recent studies show that more and more people are using the video platform as a search engine, preferring it to Google in some instances. The new placement hasn’t been officially announced yet but developers have received offers to participate in beta testing and case studies, which implies a launch in the near future. Advertisers are extremely excited about this new placement, for more information read our post about it.  

But TikTok is not the only one positioning itself on the Search Ads business. Instagram announced two upcoming placements: Search Ads and Reminder Ads.

Unlike other Search Ads placement, to see this one Instagram users will have to click on a search result and then scroll down. This news has not been as well received as TikTok’s, with both advertisers and users complaining about the overwhelming presence of ads in the app already. Instagram is already swarmed with ad placements, including some in users’ profiles and this is not helping the ad fatigue Instagrammers are experiencing.

The other addition is called Reminder Ads, it’s a twist on in-feed ads that will allow advertisers to create events and link them to their ads and posts, and users will be able to activate reminders to receive 3 notifications to remind them of the event (the day before, 15 minutes before and at the time of the event). 

According to Instagram’s blog post, these two ads should be available soon globally and testing is ongoing. 

Pinterest is currently testing a new ad placement called “Premiere Spotlight” that would place a video ad on top of the app’s search page. Advertisers will have access to this placement for 24 hours, this includes a short video overlaid by text and a CTA button (that opens inside the Pinterest app and not a separate tab). With 97% of Pinterest being unbranded, it’s a great opportunity for advertisers.

There is no official launch date yet for this new ad format but users can already encounter it on the app. 

And speaking of new ad placements, Amazon’s Audible is currently testing ads in audiobooks. 

Microsoft’s mobile gaming store is coming

Microsoft first teased its desire to launch a mobile gaming store when they offered to buy Activision in one of the biggest gaming deals to ever happen. The access to mobile studios owned by Activision (like King and their highly successful Candy Crush IP) would be a great boost for a brand new mobile store, even though this store would be Xbox-branded.

One of the major issues was the fact that several competition authorities around the world seemed to want to put an end to that acquisition. However, after weeks of tensions between Microsoft (Xbox) and Sony (Playstation), the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority changed its mind and announced that the merger would not negatively impact console gaming competition because they didn’t believe Microsoft would withhold Call of Duty from Sony. 

Microsoft has spent the past few weeks signing deals with other console makers to bring Call of Duty to their platform as a sign of good faith. It’s reported that the EU may rule similarly

This means good news for Microsoft’s plans to launch a mobile Xbox app store to get in on the mobile games craze. They were still planning on launching even without the Activision deal but owning King will make everything easier. However, they are still waiting for new regulations coming in Europe to launch their store on both iOS and Android. 

Microsoft is not the only one working on a mobile gaming store, Epic Games has big plans as well and is apparently ready to launch, they’re just waiting for alternative app stores to be allowed on iOS. 

Some Play Store news

On the Play Store news front, Google now offers free machine translation for Android apps. It will use Google Translate and can translate in app texts, Play Store listings, and app descriptions. 7 languages are available for machine translation: Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, French (France), German, Indonesian, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Spain). 

Google already offers premium app translations (charging per translated word), but this free option might help small developers localize more easily. 

This is not the only news, the Play Store now warns users when apps are too glitchy and may not work on a user’s device. If that is the case, a small banner will appear under the install button.

This feature was announced a few months ago and seems to have become available recently. 

Numbers of the month

What we talked about this month

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