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App Store Preview Videos: the Biggest Change for ASOs in iOS 11

Gabe Kwakyi | June 26, 2017

Apptamin guest post on Priori Data Blog, via Thomasbcn

Don't have an app preview video? It may be time to get one prior to the official release of iOS 11.

After preview videos were released to much fanfare in iOS 8, they gradually lost momentum as users generally neglected to watch them at rates high enough investing in one; in fact, Store Maven pegged the iOS video watch rate at 7% (yet games, fitness apps, and other, more experiential-based apps remained great categories for which to create a preview video).

Now, with iOS 11, two big changes make the new iOS preview video worth taking a second look.

First and foremost is the fact that preview videos now autoplay – not just in the product page, but in the search impressions themselves. As pointed out above, the biggest blocker to the old preview video was that most users would not tap to play it. Cunningly, Apple took a page out of Facebook/Instagram's book by integrating a proven, high-impact optimization into one of the biggest bottlenecks to earning more downloads in the App Store:

  • While the feature impression (which Apple is also addressing via editorials and stories) or the top chart view may be higher visibility areas, inserting autoplay into the search impression and product page view (both of which areas already show the preview video) was low-hanging fruit, as it required no change to Apple's search UX.
  • Videos are generally regarded as the current best medium/form of marketing and/or content distribution; yet without autoplay, all that great creativity is rendered inaccessible to the vast majority of users who don't tap play. Simply by enabling autoplay, some not insignificant percentage of users who wouldn't have otherwise played the video will now stop and watch at least some of the video because it required no effort on their part.

This (the GIF middle-ground between static images and videos) was one of many unaddressed limitations/fixes identified in our analysis of the many reasons app discovery was broken, and will do wonders to sell more apps and thus more IAP for Apple (and marketers/developers).

Second, the ability to add up to three preview videos means that the creative palette available to app marketers and developers is that much broader, allowing for customization of each video that was not possible when trying to create a single, perfect preview video. For example, you could now use a shorter, more action-packed video (solely with the attention of capturing and retaining attention) as the first option, with a longer, more branded-oriented video as #2 or #3, wherein you need worry less about attention span than the content and message.

Interested in leveraging the preview video to improve your app's ASO, but don't have the time to think about how?

Hire us to do the brainstorming and legwork for you – it's what we do!

The Bottom Line: With the combination of Apple's allowing up to 3 preview videos and the auto-play ability of preview videos, now more than ever is the right time to consider investing in an app preview video.

That's all for now, folks! Be sure to bookmark our blog, sign up to our email newsletter for new post updates and reach out if you're interested in working with us.

Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies, with a specialty in high-quality, stable app development and keyword-based marketing strategy, such as App Store Optimization and Apple Search Ads. For post topics, feedback or business inquiries please contact us, or send an inquiry to