Jun 8, 2017
Originally published in Martech Series by Sudipto Ghosh.
New OTT App Testing Enables Organizations to Know What Works on Apple TV and Android TV. This will Convert Users into Paid Subscribers.
The Over-the-Top (OTT) revenue for 2019 is predicted to double to around 17.8 billion as more households break up with their traditional Pay TV providers. In 2017, 12% of OTT revenue is likely to come from the smartphone subscriptions. OTT experiences are becoming more important for advertisers to publish high-quality mobile content. However, it is a mistake to assume what works for Apple or Android smartphones would invariably work on Apple TV or Android TV! To ensure great OTT experience, Apptimize announced the release of the support for OTT apps across Apple TV and Android TV.
Apptimize is a platform for product innovation and experimentation. By launching a new support for OTT apps, the platform enables companies to reduce and mitigate the risk involved in delivering new OTT experiences*. The new OTT experience-testing feature delivers a subset of the user base before deciding if or how to roll them out more broadly. Apptimize’s OTT platform also offers easy-to-use feature management and personalization capabilities, as well as a robust visual editor for Apple TV and Android TV apps.
In an exclusive interview at our TechBytes Series, Nancy Hua, CEO at Apptimize elucidated the common challenges that mobile app marketers face in a daunting omnichannel ecosystem.
Here is the full interview with Nancy —
MTS: Tell us about your role at Apptimize and the story behind Apptimize.
Nancy Hua: I am the co-founder and CEO at Apptimize. After a few years in algorithmic trading, I moved to Silicon Valley in 2013 to start building apps. As I started building, we got increasingly frustrated by our inability to rapidly make changes and try new ideas – as a result, the development process was way too slow.
I realized that there had to be a much better way to improve the mobile development process. That’s how Apptimize was born. We help organizations make more money with their apps with a platform that enables A/B tests, instant updates, and personalized user experiences.
MTS: What are the common mistakes mobile app marketers make while launching mobile-based campaigns?
Nancy: Because it is so hard to release new features, messaging, and experiences on mobile, many mobile marketers launch the same campaign to the entire user base. This causes two problems.
First, it is impossible to know whether a campaign will work before trying it in the real world and measuring actual consumer response. Without first testing, companies risk launching a campaign that has a negative consumer response (either through lower spending or lower brand engagement).
Second, companies leave a lot of money on the table by giving the same experience to every user. There is a huge opportunity to deliver more relevant experiences to different users based on their location, how much they spend, interactions across web channels, and more.
MTS: What is the vision behind introducing OTT apps across Apple TV and Android TV?
Nancy: With Apptimize, organizations can now test and optimize how to convert users into paid subscribers, enhance content discovery, promote user retention, improve monetization by testing the right ad exposure levels, and more.
For example, as organizations strive to interact with their users in an increasingly personalized way, Apptimize’s OTT offering enables product managers, developers, and marketers to deliver the best experience to each segment of users using “feature flags.” Moreover, product teams can use Apptimize to easily show different onboarding messaging based on whether someone has previously used the app or not.
MTS: How are OTT apps different from mobile apps? Please help us distinguish between the two?
Nancy: Since a majority of people use their OTT apps in the comfort of their home, these apps – unlike on mobile – often engage multiple users at the same time. Further, the use case and behavior can be drastically different depending on the device.
Trulia is a good example. As they note on their website: “Similar to all our apps, Trulia’s app for Apple TV has been designed specifically for the device it’s to be used on, which in this case is the TV. Trulia on Apple TV is focused on delivering a highly-visual browsing experience. Home photos and videos are core to Trulia on Apple TV, showing consumers immersive content that gives a clear picture of what a home looks like.”
MTS: “Simply assuming what works on an Apple or Android-based phone will work on Apple TV or Android TV is a huge mistake.” Please elaborate on this further.
Nancy: The factors that led to success on the web or mobile apps, won’t always translate to success when implemented on OTT apps. In other words, you can’t just create an OTT app that mirrors your web or mobile app and hope for it to perform just as well.
MTS: Do you see programmatic technology proliferating into in-app and B2B app platforms too?
Nancy: Yes. Personalization is becoming increasing important and expected by app users of all types. As a result, the ability to test new features, flows, and recommendations will become critical as well.
MTS: How is AI and Machine Learning (AI/ML) impacting the mobile app development and marketing platforms?
Nancy: AI and Machine Learning are exciting technologies. What has always been and will continue to be true is that companies need to evaluate these technologies with real users before implementing the change broadly.
AI and Machine Learning fit in perfectly with experimentation. Sophisticated algorithms can recommend changes and A/B testing can then validate and optimize those algorithms, essentially creating a continuous cycle of improvement.
MTS: Who are you currently following in the industry to be on top of your skills in knowing more about AI?
Nancy: Good AI is predicated on having a lot of really good data. So the companies with the most data, like Google and Facebook, are interesting to follow in this space.
The new industry-leading capability from Apptimize enables companies to reduce the risk of releasing new features and user experiences by first testing them with a subset of their user base before deciding if or how to roll them out more broadly. Apptimize’s OTT platform also offers easy-to-use feature management and personalization capabilities, as well as a robust visual editor for Apple TV and Android TV apps.
With Apptimize, organizations can now test and optimize how to convert users into paid subscribers, enhance content discovery, promote user retention, improve monetization by testing the right ad exposure levels, and more.
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