Recap: Paris App Strategy Workshop

A view of the stage at The Microsoft Conference Centre.

A view of the stage at The Microsoft Conference Centre.

When it comes to impressive event venues, The Microsoft Conference Centre in Paris is among the best we've seen. On May 21, 2015, the Application Developers Alliance joined 150 of Europe's leading developers and app entrepreneurs to discuss key practices in making an app successful.

ASO: How to Get Your App to the Top of the App Store

From L to R: Virginie Clève (largow), Benjamin Lorthiois (Cellfish), Guillaume Sicard (VizApp), Gregoire Mercier (Addict Mobile), and Alexandra Combeau (Karos)

From L to R: Virginie Clève (largow), Benjamin Lorthiois (Cellfish), Guillaume Sicard (VizApp), Gregoire Mercier (Addict Mobile), and Alexandra Combeau (Karos)

Senior representatives from Cellfish, Karos, Viz App, Addict Mobile and Largow discussed the increasingly vital issue of app store optimisation and boosting apps up the rankings. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Test, Iterate and Improve

Launch in a small market first, such as New Zealand or Canada, to learn valuable lessons and make improvements before launching in larger markets (like the United States or the United Kingdom).

From L to R: Guillaume Sicard (VizApp), Gregoire Mercier (Addict Mobile), and Alexandra Combeau (Karos)

From L to R: Guillaume Sicard (VizApp), Gregoire Mercier (Addict Mobile), and Alexandra Combeau (Karos)

  • Concentrate on Visual Identity

Design matters. Approximately 15% of users won’t download an app with an unappealing icon. Icons should be tested, and representative of what the app actually does. Users pay more attention to the screenshots than the text description, so make sure the screenshots communicate effectively.

  • Spread Your Bet

While the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store are the behemoths of the app industry, other app stores can also drive quality downloads. One way to ensure a healthy number of users is to get an app included as a device pre-install, though this requires strong partnerships with operators and manufacturers, as well as potentially deep pockets.

Monetizing with the User in Mind

Representatives from leading companies Happn, Shazam, OpenX, Calldorado, Playsoft Games tackled the issue of making money with apps. The panel was moderated by Vincent Tessier of La Place Media. Here are the key takeaways:

From L to R: Vincent Tessier (La Place Media), Mathias Schroeder (Calldorado), Phillippe Meriaux (Happn), Gonzague de la Tournelle (Shazam), Nicolas Bensignor (Playsoft Games), and Dan Owens (OpenX)

From L to R: Vincent Tessier (La Place Media), Mathias Schroeder (Calldorado), Phillippe Meriaux (Happn), Gonzague de la Tournelle (Shazam), Nicolas Bensignor (Playsoft Games), and Dan Owens (OpenX)

  • Going Global

To create an app that’s going to monetize, developers need the ability to scale. Thinking on a global level is vital, especially when trying to monetise through ad revenue, as reach, retention and scale are all important. Asian markets should be in the sights of any developer looking to make it big. Finding appropriate local partners will help avoid common issues with entering this vastly different marketplace.

  • Build it into the DNA of the App

Build monetisation into the UX from the start. Make use of native advertising, and the benefits it can bring to the look and feel of in-app advertising. As Philippe Meriaux of Happn explained, a big mistake to make in monetisation is trying to suddenly make users pay for something that was previously free.

  • Expect More Innovation in the Monetization Space

The increase in competition and rising marketing costs are pushing developers and publishers to widen monetisation approaches to increase revenue per user (RPU). Expect more apps using subscription models (like Cellfish), out-of-app advertising (similar to what Calldorado provides) and through affiliate models (e.g. Shazam drives one million iTunes sales per day).

From Small Screens to Big Screens

Kaisu Karvala, Vice President of Rovio

Kaisu Karvala, Vice President of Rovio

The Paris App Strategy Workshop concluded with a fascinating talk by Kaisu Karvala, Vice President at Rovio. By focusing on building a lasting, wide-reaching brand, Rovio has ensured itself a lasting presence. To do so, the organization created play parks, cartoons, action figures, soft toys, playing cards, and lunchboxes based on Angry Birds characters. This franchise expansion has even led to the development of their first feature film—a highly anticipated movie featuring big names like Maya Rudolph, Josh Gad, Keegan-Michael Key, and Danny McBride.

Karvala emphasised the way Rovio views itself as a brand rather than simply one mobile game, and has leveraged it to become a truly transmedia company.


The Alliance would like to thank OpenX and Calldorado for sponsoring this event. We hope everyone enjoyed the opportunity to hear from leaders in the industry and connect with fellow developers. Our team looks forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Check out our photos below from the Paris App Strategy Workshop and keep an eye out for videos of the sessions coming soon!