8 Facts to Know Before Promoting Your App in India

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Posted: January 7, 2016


Myroslava is a content manager at Mobvista, leading global mobile content distribution platform that specializes in mobile advertising (performance marketing and traffic monetization) and game publishing.With 6 years of experience in journalism, reporting, writing and editing news for TV, online and print business media, she aims to deliver the valuable insights about the industry, relying on Mobvista data.


India, the 2nd populated country in the world with over 1.2 billion inhabitants who have just stepped into the era of mobile Internet, is now experiencing so called ‘gold rush’ in mobile advertising market. A few international mobile companies (including Mobvista) have already announced the upcoming investments into Indian market and establishments of new offices there. App developers also see huge potential and are eager to promote their app there what might be not that easy task as it seems at first.  Here are some insights about Indian mobile advertising market you have to take into account to successfully promote apps in India.
  1. 60% of Indian Internet-users are mobile-only

For the average Indians, personal computers are still rather luxury thing, that’s why, smartphones became the first devices for access to the web for hundreds millions of Indian residents. This fact has shaped the whole culture of Internet consumption, making m-commerce extremely attractive for local and international businesses, what resulted in high demand on mobile advertising services.
Unlike majority of mature mobile marketing markets (e.g. the USA or China), whose Internet audience has been growing slowly from personal computers to laptops and, finally, to smartphones and tablets, India overlapped the desktop stage of Internet jumping right into mobile era. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, 213 out of the 354 million local internet users are mobile-only.  About 128 million mobile internet users belong to the urban population of India with the rest 45 million residing in rural areas.

  1. Vast majority of users’ devices allow less than 20 apps

About 80% of Indians prefer smartphones with Android, mostly cheap models for less than $100 that hardly allow installing more than 20 apps. Those restrictions make Indian market is a bit difficult in terms of apps monetization: developers and publishers must first think about the size of mobile applications to be sure that they are no more than 30 Mb (because cheap phones just are not able to run heavy apps), RAM required for the stable and fast execution etc.

  1. Smartphones’ screen sizes are big enough to watch video

At the same time, the most popular diagonal screen sizes of smartphones of the 4-4” (26%), 4.5-5” (28%), 5-5.5” (29%) are large enough to watch video, thus opening huge opportunities to the video mobile advertising. The conversion rates of video ads are higher than those of banner ads: 5% and 1% respectively even despite the volume of video ads is not that huge.

  1. Indians often turn the data connection off

Even those developers that got high install rates sometimes suffer trying to get money out of Indian market. Usually that happens with the apps that work offline. Why? Because in India absolute majority of users are on prepaid plans, and 120MB of data in India costs approximately 40 US cents. To save money, people keep their phones with the data switched off, and turn it on only to check the news or the messages.

  1. Customs to affect retention rates

One of Chinese developers of the utility app noticed high retention rates during weekdays but extremely low ones on weekends in India. What was the reason? Easy: due to the strong traditions locals often prefer to spend their free time with families and friends instead of staring at mobile devices.

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  1. Google Play links are in the lead in user acquisition

For Indian clients (e-commerce, entertainment or other online-to-offline clients) promotion on mobile side is the priority when it comes to the user acquisition. Also there are differences in the traffic channels that we divide into a few groups:

  1. APK-volume, delivered directly by APK can drive you 3,000-5,000 installs per day,
  2. Network volume from Google Play link can bring 5,000-20,000 non-incent installs daily,
  3. SNS Volume, delivered by Google/Facebook/Twitter – that brings you 1,000-3,000 installs per day due to performance base & CPI model with some campaigns reaching 10,000 installs daily.
  1. Offline backs up online

Even for mobile promotion (of course, most of the budget goes to mobile side which means the money is used on performance base to drive installs) advertisers have to spend part of their expenses on traditional advertising: newspapers, TV or billboards. Sometimes the amounts of money spent on offline ads swallow up half of the whole ad budget, and prices rocket during the festivals. Traditional offline media and advertising channels (where mobile users are coming from) are still popular in India. More likely consumers remember your ad on TV and then easily recollect it while seeing it on mobile screens.

  1. Retargeting existing users is a trend

The way Indian mobile advertising market is developing now is somewhat similar to what China had experienced before. A year ago our Indian clients mostly required app installs, now they are interested in action, paying special attention to the retention rate which is more important for e-commerce now. Therefore, nowadays we have to focus on involving people who are able to pur-chase the product, retargeting existing users to make them coming back again and again.
So whenever you decide to promote your app in India, remember to localize your product, pay attention to alternative channels of monetization and find reliable partner to popularize your app there. Contact Mobvista’s business development team in New Delhi or reach our BD manager Harrison Yan via e-mail Haoyang.yan@mobvista.com to get the consultation about further steps on Indian mobile market.
You can visit the Mobvista website here.

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