Go App-less for Greater Reach

By Lisa Bergamo

With technological change moving more quickly every day, it’s easy to see why video producers have been tempted to create branded direct-to-consumer apps. Whether on connected TVs (CTV), tablets or smartphones, OTT content traditionally has been delivered via apps. In a world of “there’s an app for that” shouldn’t there also be an app for every video producer out there?

The answer is NO! App development for video producers is not the way to go. Here’s why:

  • Apps are expensive to develop and maintain – development for simple apps can start around $25,000 but more complex apps can surpass $1 million. It typically costs 15-20 percent of the original development cost to maintain and update an app.
  • After video producers invest thousands (or millions) in the creation and upkeep of an app, they’re then faced with the challenge of scaling and delivering their content. According to a study from Localytics, a staggering 23 percent of users abandon an app after just one use.
  • Additionally, if the other 77 percent are return app users, less than 2 percent of global app installs lead to purchases. The ROI of app development, then, is lousy.
  • Marketing an app is difficult. It’s challenging to break through to consumers with an app, and most only use five apps regularly. Discovery of apps is all but impossible, especially among millions of apps in app stores. Unless you’re a one-in-a-million hit like Pokemon or Fortnite or Angry Birds, once you lose featured position in an App Store, you’re dead.

Americans are now watching nearly 8 billion hours of streaming video per month on aggregated video services such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and others. These CTVs come pre-loaded with or have the ability to download Top Level Apps (TLAs) like the Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, LG Channel Plus, Hulu, and so on. As a result, viewers spend most of their viewing time in large, aggregated video services – not in individual producers’ apps. This means video producers should be focused on getting connected to the TLAs instead of striking out on their own.

That’s where a service like Wurl comes in. With the Wurl Network, video producers can quickly and easily connect their content to these TLAs, gain incremental ad revenue and reach a global audience – without having to create and market their own apps. With SVOD viewing poised to eclipse traditional TV in the coming years, and many TLAs such as Roku and WarnerMedia rolling out SVOD services, video producers have the potential to use Wurl to monetize premium programming without spending a fortune building an app that will provide little to no ROI.

The smart move for video producers is to have a service like Wurl connect them to the vast viewerships of the biggest OTT services – allowing producers to do what they do best: create high-quality video content.