By Rina Zholobova, Head of Developer Relations
When it comes to the kids space, and particularly to app developers creating apps for kids – there aren’t enough events that offer developers the opportunity to network, meet fellow developers or just attend a relevant lecture.
The Kids Want Mobile event, however, was ranked #1 when we surveyed app publishers regarding which events they plan to visit this year, passing GDC and even KidScreen.
This year in Bologna, was the third time the KIDOZ team participated in TheKidsWantMobile (TKWM), organized by the Fox & Sheep team.
Meeting existing and new partners, and attending over 10 lectures from the best digital kids experts, app developers, publishers, and industry influencers, here are our 5 top takeaways that developers can benefit from:
1) Take advantage of Google pre-launch testing features.
Here’s a friendly tip we got from Google’s DFF team: Prior to launching and submitting your app to Google Play, make sure to research all the beta testing options that are available for app developers (see pre launch reports).
Then set up an open, closed or internal test.
Make sure to use pre-launch and launch testing capabilities without hurting your app score when it is finally live.
2) It’s worth listening to Apple’s app store experts
Apple’s team conducted multiple sessions at the event and shared a few tips that can help your iOS apps become successful on the AppStore.
- Apple loves accessible apps. Make sure your apps are making the effort to be accessible and reach everyone, everywhere. This can include voice-overs, inverted colors, mono audio, large text, and audio descriptions.
- Apps should aim to be culture-sensitive – for example, colors mean different things in different countries; also, it’s better to launch apps with small data usage as this factor is very important in many countries (India for example).
- Apple really appreciate apps that embrace new technologies that take advantage of iOS’s unique capabilities (they presented the Avo! app that created amazing cinematic effects).
- Consider making your app classroom ready. If your app is aimed at elementary-school age kids and above, consider adding some features for teachers (a great example Apple provided was the Molecules by Theodore Gray app).
3) Two are better than one
If you are currently using only a freemium or subscription-based monetization strategy and you are not satisfied with the results – consider using blended monetization strategies. Combining in-apps with ads or a subscription model with ads will maximize your revenues, according to app publishers.
Any business model that relies on paying users is missing the 90% plus who will never pay, and complementary models can be applied for this audience.
In a monetization panel conducted by KIDOZ, Damien Bruneau, Co-Founder of TutoTOONS, one of the biggest app publishers in the kids’ space, shared that it took TutoTOONS 3 years to grow their advertising revenues; they started gradually by combining it with other strategies, and it has now become their biggest revenue stream.
4) Better safe than sorry
When working with ad networks, don’t be afraid to reach out to your ad partners and ask them what kind of campaigns they are showing on your apps. If you are working with general ad networks, go the extra mile and make sure to block all questionable ad categories. Remember that while an ad may be COPPA compliant, it can still be irrelevant or even inappropriate for children.
In our survey, 41% of app publishers declared they are ok with any COPPA-compliant ad, which may be fine from an FTC perspective but may still put your app at risk from an app store perspective.
Make a great first impression: make sure your images are aligned with Apple’s and Google’s standards. The first launch of an app should be great – the onboarding process for users should be very simple and smooth. Apple’s team mentioned that they support accessibility in all forms, so onboarding should be available for everyone (better to use video and audio, explain why the camera needs access, demonstrate the options of the app, etc.).
A successful example Apple provided was the Wonderscope app (objects interact with the scene itself, encouraging curiosity, kid rewarded by the reaction of the character).
We hope that this information can help both new as well as experienced developers, especially when they only start working on the concept of their new app.
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