Expert IDs how developers can reduce customer friction

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Kristina: What is the issue between app developers and app stores?

Matt Tubergen, EVP, Digital Turbine: Getting your app discovered is tough– with more than 5 million apps in the major app stores, it’s a very crowded and noisy place. App developers face the challenge of standing out from the clutter and getting their app in the hands of new users. With stores, there are unknown factors that can impact the number of installs for an app. Competitive apps, sponsored ads, and the general lack of transparency are all hurdles app developers have to overcome when getting their apps directly in the hands of new users.

Kristina: How does offering direct downloads bypass these issues?

Matt: Preloading your app on new devices bypasses all the store noise. Digital Turbine delivers your app directly onto newly activated devices and into the hands of new users. Our dynamic installs let users discover new apps during and after they set up their new devices. During this time users are very engaged so it’s a great time to put your app in front of new users.

Kristina: We’re seeing more game developers bypass the various stores in favor of direct downloads – is this something others in the mobile space – retailers, for example – should try?

Matt: Absolutely, many of our larger customers are non-gaming apps. From banking to retail to social, app preloads help you reach new customers that can be more difficult to reach through traditional advertising or store models. Every app should diversify their user acquisition channels to get the most out of their ad spend.

A huge benefit to app preloads is that they are fraud-free and you know exactly where they are being placed. You will know what devices your app will be placed on and what other apps will be preloaded. It’s great transparency for apps and brands in what can be a murky ecosystem. Of course, we cannot reduce the amount of fraud seen with display ads or other types of ads throughout the entire space.

Kristina: How can a merchant or brand know if their platform is ready for the direct download of apps?

Matt: Any brand or app company with a publishable app is technically ready for our direct downloads. Brands or apps that are already using some form of digital advertising are prime candidates, as our platform improves their efforts in an enormous way. We recommend a test spend to begin, validate the model and scale. It’s important to keep in mind that preloads are a unique ad unit that are measured over a longer time period. Different types of digital ads have different KPIs and need to be measured accordingly.

Kristina: How might direct downloads impact the mobile space?

Matt: Today’s mobile ecosystems are very siloed. Typical app distribution of an application must go through an app store in today’s world. App developers and brands now have control of their experience through our technology and this will open up a number of great ways for top app brands to add value to their users with improved, direct to consumer experiences.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.