App streaming emerges as alternative to downloads

Image Credit: Google


Mobile developers frequently commit significant time and resources to finding ways to increase app downloads. But app streaming represents a valuable opportunity for developers and, ultimately, may eliminate the need for app downloads altogether. 

Wally Nguyen, CEO of mNectar, recently outlined how app streaming works during an interview with [a]listdaily

He pointed out that mNectar enables users to instantly stream an app as a "Playable Ad," eliminating the need for downloads and allowing his company to track real-time user engagements.

"For all intents and purposes, the download was dead. But on our mobile devices, downloads are everywhere," Nguyen said. "With Playable Ads, we stream the real experience to you. There's no lying or misleading that you might get with a video or any other type of ad. You get the game, you play a level, and if you like it, you'll probably download it. If you don't, you probably won't. It's simple product marketing, but really hard to build from a technology standpoint."

MNectar, however, isn't the only company to embrace app streaming. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGbegan app streaming within Google Search last year, which enabled Android users to try apps before downloading them. 

Image Credit: Google
In addition to consumers' quality of life, mobile developers could also benefit from app streaming. Nguyen pointed out mNectar found app streaming drove conversion and increased user rates.

On the other hand, user engagement remains an ongoing problem for many developers. Appboy's "Spring 2016 Mobile Customer Retention Report" showed more than 75 percent of new users fail to return to an app the day after first use.

In addition, mobile marketing automation platform provider Swrve recently found half of all mobile game revenue comes from only 2 percent of players.

"The vast majority of players deliver no revenue, again confirming that greater care should be taken in user acquisition to ensure, as much as possible, that onboarded users fit the subset of 'spenders," Swrve wrote in a recent report

App streaming serves as a powerful option for developers because it provides real-time end user data to developers. Thus, app streaming allows developers to find out when someone access an app, how long he or she spends in an app and other data that may help a developer boost user engagement.

And with the potential that app streaming offers, it may be only a matter of time before there is a widespread shift from app downloads to app streaming. - Dan@FierceDeveloper