The App Store on Apple TV lets you deliver immersive experiences on the big screen to customers around the world. Gain insight into choosing the right business model, implementing Universal Purchase, and marketing your tvOS app. Learn about how apps are chosen to be featured on the App Store.
Hi, good afternoon everyone.
My name is Isabel Tewes,
and I work on the App Store team here based out of Cupertino.
It's been a pretty exciting day.
Stefan, Rachael and the whole team have led some great
sessions on how to design, develop,
and optimize your app for Apple TV.
Once you build a great app, the next step is getting it
into the living rooms of customers around the world.
And that's where the App Store comes in.
Most of you are already on the App Store in iOS.
But Apple TV is a new platform, and it brings
with it a new opportunity and unique considerations.
I'm here to shed some light on how the App Store
and Apple TV works, so you can extend your success
to the new platform.
We have a lot of guidance to cover today,
ranging from important questions on how
to choose the right business model to how
to create an app's product page that's very compelling
and the way that you market your app
to build awareness and drive downloads.
Don't worry, I will also cover how
to increase your chances of getting featured.
I'll make sure to leave you with a few key takeaways at the end.
I'll make sure to leave you
with a few key takeaways at the end as well.
Let's begin with an overview of the App Store and Apple TV.
The App Store on Apple TV is available in over 100 countries.
Our mission is to surface the best apps and games
to customers around the world.
Our editorial teams hand-pick everything
that you see featured on our feature pages.
There is no paid placement on the App Store.
Customers have four main channels
to discover apps and games.
The featured page that you see here, is where you start.
But they can also browse category pages
that are editorially curated and highlight apps by type.
Customers also discover apps by browsing our paid, free,
and top grossing charts.
And, of course, by searching the App Store.
But before you submit your app to the store,
there's a few important business considerations
that we want you to keep in mind.
First, you need to determine
which of the available business models meets your goals
You also have to decide if your app will support
We know this is brand new, so I will make sure
to tell you what it is and how to decide if it's right for you.
And the last business consideration we want
to walk you through today is global expansion.
So let's start with business models.
The App Store on Apple TV offers the same business models
as the App Store on iOS.
But a new platform requires some specific thinking
about what works best for your business.
So let's review those now.
There are four types of business models you can choose from,
starting with apps that are free to download.
Remember, that doesn't mean that they don't monetize.
Some, like Gilt and Airbnb,
monetize by selling offline services and goods.
The paid business model requires users to pay only once,
when downloading an app.
Freemium apps are free to download,
and paymium apps are paid to download,
but both of these models offer you ongoing monetization
opportunities through in-app purchases.
With these business models, you have more time
to convert users to paying customers.
The path to success is through engagement.
And you have to make sure you're delivering value both before
and after an in-app purchase.
Now these last two business models are popular in iOS.
And you may have seen that from the charts.
But we want to give you a glimpse
into business model breakdown that you haven't seen before.
Here's the breakdown
of the current iOS app catalog by business model.
As you can see, a majority of live apps in iOS are free.
But paymium and freemium are growing in popularity.
We don't want you to assume that what is true
for iOS is true for tvOS.
So, even though the platform is new,
I want to show you that information.
You can immediately see the difference in their catalogs.
Compared to a paid app percentage of less than 20%
on iOS, on tvOS, paid apps make up almost half of the catalog.
This likely is not by accident, given that customer expectations
for their living room are more geared towards a
The point here is not to focus on the comparison but rather
to remind you that the App Store on Apple TV is new.
You have the opportunity
to choose the right business model for this platform.
These numbers are meant as a guide.
What we want to stress today is that the most important thing
to consider is what works for you and for your business.
That's what's going to make you successful.
In order to choose, we suggest that you think about answers
to the following questions.
First, what does success mean for you?
Is your biggest business objective reach, revenue,
or do you prioritize both?
If you're focused on broader reach, remember that barriers
to adoption are lower with a free app.
But with a paid product, reach may be lower,
but you receive revenue from every single download.
And a paid business model is not the only option
if you're aiming for revenue.
Think of the creative ways you can monetize free apps
with built-in advertising, sponsored content, and more.
Find the revenue solution that works
for you and for your users.
If you answered both,
then a well-done premium implementation could be a
As we said, success and freemium requires engagement,
and you need to build value
for both your free and your paid users.
If you're thinking about a paid, freemium, or premium app,
you have to think about how to price your app correctly.
Research your competition, and don't assume
that the pricing structure from iOS applies to tvOS as well.
The mobile experience is different
from the living room experience.
Also consider what kind of model your customer might expect.
This means thinking, again, about the difference
between living room and mobile.
The living room likely means longer
but less frequent sessions than mobile use.
So your business model should account for that.
Your customer won't expect or enjoy frequent prompts
for monetization in the living room when they're using your app
with the family or friends.
When choosing both your business model
and your pricing structure,
consider whether your app is designed for periodic, quick use
or something more frequent with deep content or services
that provide long-term engagement.
The latter might make a better fit for a freemium model.
The most important thing to keep in mind is
that you should consider your business model early
on in your product development
so you can incorporate it properly
into your app experience.
You want it to feel native and appropriate for your product,
not as an afterthought.
All of these are very tough and time-consuming questions,
but they're really important
and will set the direction for your product.
Once you've decided your business model,
the next thing you have
to consider is whether your app should support
Since it's brand new, let's define universal purchase.
Universal purchase lets customers purchase content once
and enjoy it on both their Apple TV and iOS devices.
It allows customers to discover your app
through their Purchased Apps tab.
But this creates some requirements for apps
that allow universal purchase.
They share certain metadata, such as name and price.
This one price, for example, will be visible
on both the App Store on iOS and the App Store on Apple TV.
They also share country availability,
as well as in-app purchases.
While this can create a great, cohesive customer experience,
think about whether these requirements match your
You can only decide once.
Whether you're creating a new Universal Purchase (
or adding a platform to your existing app record,
like maybe most of you are, you cannot remove either
from sale individually.
You also can't publish two individual records
and later merge them into a single Universal Purchase.
Since you only get one chance to decide whether
to support Universal pPurchase,
here is what you should consider.
Reach, revenue, or both?
The same question that you ask yourself
to decide what business model is right
for you is what should be considered
for Universal Purchase.
If you have a free app on iOS because you're aiming
for a broader reach, there is no reason not
to use Universal Purchase,
assuming the use case is relevant for tvOS.
For a paid app model, aiming to reach revenue you'll only get
to charge once for your app on multiple platforms.
Also consider your customer expectations.
Generally, the data shows that customers do not want to pay
for the same app twice.
But if you're providing different experiences
and they are different use cases,
then universal purchase may be right for you.
You may have separate rights for mobile devices
and larger screens like TVs, so this is another consideration
to keep in mind, whether you have content right limitations.
This is especially relevant for entertainment and video apps.
The last business consideration I want you to think
about is global expansion.
The App Store is a global business.
The iOS App Store is available in 155 countries,
and the App Store on Apple TV is available in more than 100.
We have editors around the world,
and they have a strong preference
for featuring localized content, as you can see here
on the Japanese store.
But with so many supported countries around the world,
how do you know where to start?
Here's what to consider.
First, think global but be local.
The App Store is available in many countries,
each with cultural and language differences.
You have the opportunity to reach millions of customers all
over the world with a push of a button.
But remember that one size does not fit all.
Focus on the right markets where you can grow
and invest your resources there.
Next, consider our top markets.
It's very early, so we can't share the top Apple TV markets,
ut for reference we want to show you the top markets on iOS.
Keeping in mind that Apple TV is not yet available in all
of these countries, including China,
you can use this information to guide your thinking.
We recommend starting with English-speaking markets,.
then top European countries, like Germany and France.
And then focus on Japan.
For Apple TV we're also seeing great promise in Sweden,
the Netherlands, and Norway.
Another data point that you can use when choosing the path
for global expansion is your own iOS data in App Analytics,
as well as data from any other third party resources you have.
Leverage these to help you identify opportunity markets
where you overindex in downloads or usage.
If your app is globally relevant, you should think
about localizing in time for launch.
If you're not sure, you might take a more limited approach
and adapt based on trends and performance.
Once you've decided which markets to focus on,
start by localizing your app, which includes the UI,
the app experience, and the content.
Then, do the same for your name description and screenshots.
We don't recommend translating your product page
if it's not reflective of your app.
Think about the Japanese store that I just showed you.
If I'm a customer and I see a great icon that I like,
go on to the product page
and read the description and it sounds great.
But once I download the app, I can't read
or understand any of it.
That's a jarring experience and a customer
that you've lost right away.
So make sure to meet your customer expectations.
That takes us to your product page
on the App Store on Apple TV.
Every visitor is a potential customer.
You should think of your product page as one of the first places
that people experience your app.
This is your chance to showcase as many
of your app's benefits as possible.
Starting with your icon.
Your app's icon is the first thing customers see
when they search or browse through the App Store.
Design something that stands out
and represents your app's quality and brand.
As we showed you earlier today,
the PlayKids app contains videos, activities
and other educational content for children.
This is their icon, and they use bright colors and a playful font
to represent what you will experience
when you download the app.
They also include their name, large so it's legible,
to leverage brand familiarity.
Your app name is another important part
of your product page.
Let's talk about some other things to keep in mind
when creating your app name.
The first is to make it memorable.
Choose a name that matches the uniqueness of your app
and the value that it provides.
Keep it short, and remember that people search for apps
in Apple TV using the Siri Remote.
So we recommend a short name
without unnecessary keywords and text.
Finally, do not include Apple trademarks like Apple TV,
tvOS or any other device names.
You should also support your app with great screenshots.
When a customer views your product page on the App Store,
they should be able to easily understand the unique
and compelling features of your app.
Let's take another look at the PlayKids product page.
You can see their screenshots at the bottom.
You can upload up to five screenshots of your tvOS app.
We recommend taking advantage of all five.
Use the best images that help tell a story
of what makes your app special.
Here, PlayKids shows that you can interact
with different characters and that it's really a world
that you can experience once you go into their app.
Add copy and graphic overlays only when it's necessary
to provide context for the images.
And don't put them on a TV frame.
PlayKids does a great job using their screenshots
to illustrate the design and unique features of the app.
Next is your app description.
It should be engaging and highlight the features
and functionality of your app.
It's important that you consider the first three or four lines
of your app description.
This is what users see first.
Use the space to call out what makes your app unique.
For example, here Play Kids starts the description
with transform your living room into a family playground.
They mention videos and educational activities.
And they talk about enhancing children's learning capacity.
Right away you understand that they are all about kids
and families, but also that they have a very large focus
If your tvOS app offers a different experience from iOS,
be sure to explain that difference right
at the top of your description.
All of this will help customers understand why they should
download your app.
Although not visible on your product page,
your keywords are also incredibly important.
They should help you appear in search results
when people are looking for apps like yours.
Here's how to make the most of your keywords.
You have a limit of 100 characters.
Use as much of it as possible,.
Which means separating words with commas only,
no spaces are necessary.
We automatically index your app name and category,
so there's no need to duplicate those in your keywords.
You also don't need to include plurals.
Only use trademarks if your app uses an API provided
by that third party or if you have licensing rights.
When choosing your actual keywords,
highlight unique features that make you stand out.
And think about what customers might be searching for.
Choose words that make sense to them.
For these last two, we recommend that you do a bit of research
on both web and on iOS.
It's better if we actually illustrate these
with an example.
Because of confidentiality, we can't show you keywords
of a real app, but let's look at some keywords
for a sample kid's app with educational videos and stories.
The developer uses the words education, preschool,
books, schools, and so on.
IfSo if we were to take a look at this list and give them a bit
of advice, we would say: first,
the word Education is not necessary.
It's part of their category name.
Next, you can also delete books and schools,
because those are plurals.
And Netflix itself is not necessary
because they don't actually have the rights to use
that in their keywords.
They don't have an API approved.
The word Netflix itself is not allowed
if they don't have the rights or use an approved API.
In fact, I should mention that using
"Netflix" here can actually get them stopped by app review,
rejected by app review if they don't have the right
permissionfor using it here.
This is what the list comes
down to once we've gotten rid of those.
And they have space now to add "elementary,
kindergarten," and "teach."
Now that we've explained how to build a great product page,
let's go through some marketing guidance.
The following will help you maximize awareness and downloads
of your app on Apple TV.
First, using Apple-approved TV image
with a recognizable screenshot of your app
to illustrate the experience on the new platform.
TV images are available in the App Store marketing guidelines.
Use the "Ddownload on the App Store" badge
as a clear call to action.
We will show you where to get these materials
at the end of the presentation.
Include clear directions that tell users
to search for your app by name.
And incorporate icon imagery in your creative
to help users visually connect your marketing message
to the app as it appears on the App Store.
Let's look at one developer's example.
Sago Mini Fairy Tales is a great app
from a developer Sago Sago based out of Toronto.
The app invites kids to explore and make their own fun stories.
In this ad, they show recognizable imagery
like Jinja the cat in a TV frame to give a sense
of the beautiful experience on the large screen.
The badge and clear directions to "search for Fairy Tales TV"
at the bottom quickly help viewers understand how
to find the app in the App Store.
Finally, we can talk about what you all came to hear,
getting featured on the App Store.
As we mentioned, our editors around the world work hard
to showcase apps our customers will love.
Here's a few things that you can do to help them find
and potentially feature your own app.
First, make a great app.
You all have a lot of inspiration
after today's sessions.
And now we want to share more information
about what our editors look for in feature-worthy apps.
Once you have a great app, it's important for you
to know a little bit about our own editorial process
to give you the best chance of featuring.
And finally, we'll share an email address and details
about what we need to know when you write to us.
So let's explore what our team of editors considers
when looking for great apps.
First, is the app unique?
It should stand apart with great features
that get people excited.
Knowing your target market will help you determine how
to create a compelling experience that's made just
When you're developing for iOS,
that means engaging users one-to-one on a personal device.
On tvOS, we might look
at whether you can also engage people while they are together
in a living room, for example.
Remember, people access your app using the Siri Remote.
As we shared earlier, you want to make it easy and intuitive.
Make sure that you pay attention to details from the beginning.
If someone downloads your app based on our recommendation,
we want to make sure that they have a great first experience.
Use onboarding only when necessary.
Login screens can be jarring the first time someone opens an app.
And yes, performance matters.
Our editors don't just look at apps.
They test them and use them, and they will notice things
like slow loading speeds, frequent crashes, or freezing.
MakeSo make sure that you thoroughly test your app using
Test Flight before you submit your build.
Finally, design it specifically for Apple TV.
I mentioned this to some of you guys earlier.
Don't just port your game or app over from iOS.
Make sure that you create an experience that's designed
for Apple TV.
Now that you have a better idea of what our editors look for,
let's talk about our actual process.
Like iOS, editorial featuring
on Apple TV refreshes every Thursday afternoon
Our editors love being the first ones
to tell the world about great new apps.
So make sure that your app or major update is live,
either Wednesday night or first thing Thursday,
to line up with our store refresh.
Our teams regularly put together special collections of apps
around themes and important holidays
to serve people looking for, let's say,
a cooking app before Thanksgiving, or a health
and fitness app in January when they're getting back in shape.
So be mindful of these moments when launching
and how your app might be relevant.
As we mentioned earlier, localized apps are important
to our international team.
Focus on delivering a great experience to your key markets.
And localization also applies to promotions
around cultural events.
If you have an app that would make a great inclusion
for Chinese New Year or Carnaval,
that's important for us to know.
Launches are promotional opportunities,
but our work does not stop there.
We regularly showcase apps with great updates
that include new features and content.
But remember that when we feature an update,
it must be clear to users
who downloaded the app before, what exactly is new.
So package your update in a way
that makes the experience special and new
and reinforces who you are.
Once you've thought through all of these points
and identified the right time to contact us,
here's what we need to know.
First, start with your product details.
Include the Apple ID, category, and a feature overview.
Tell us what makes your app special.
Always And always, always, always, include your Apple ID
or a link to the App Store so that we can be sure
that we're looking at your app,
and you're not doing all the work for someone else.
Be sure to include a product roadmap with important dates
and target markets so we know when your app
or update will be live on the App Store.
We might even have feedback to this if we know that it lines
up with some of our promotional calendars.
Add information about your marketing plan as well.
Our marketing team will take a look at your materials
and let you know if we have suggestions.
This includes press outreach
and any coverage you have already confirmed.
Don't wait to contact us until your app is live on the store.
This does not help.
Email us three to four weeks before to line
up with our internal workflow.
We need enough time to take a look at the app, consider it,
and offer feedback if that's appropriate.
Lastly, package all of this information and send it to us
at firstname.lastname@example.org and we.
And yes, we will review it.
If your app makes the cut,
you'll see it featured on the App Store.
You might even get a request for artwork for certain types
of feature placements.
And if that's the case, we'll reach out and ask you
to upload the assets to iTunes Connect.
As promised, we want to leave you with a few key takeaways.
First, the quality of your product is the first thing
that we look at.
So build a great app.
Remember to think carefully about the right business model
and price thoughtfully.
Consider the benefits of universal purchase
and how they align with your own business goals.
Think global, but be local.
Remember that the App Store and Apple TV will be available
in more than 100 countries.
Create a great product page.
This is the place where people make the decision whether
or not to download your app.
Once your app is live, support it with great marketing.
Make sure that it drives downloads
with a clear call to action.
And, finally, congratulations, and make sure you let us know
about all of your hard work.
Here's another chance to write down our email address as well
as some of the important marketing resources I
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