Apple’s App Store search ads have been live for just a few months, and they’re already a hit with publishers big and small. According to multiple sources, the search ads are outperforming most other user-acquisition strategies for their apps, delivering app users at a cost that’s a fraction of the alternatives. And while most characterize their investments in them as experimental, the early returns are already prompting some to rethink the potential for their mobile app audiences.
“My initial reaction to that first test we ran was, ‘This [success] must be a temporary thing,’” said Roman Karachinsky, the co-founder of News360, a personalized news-aggregation app. “But it’s been a few months now, and out of all the channels we experimented with, search ads is up there [among the best performers].”
It’s not uncommon for new paid audience-development tricks to perform really well at first. Whether it’s newsletter growth tricks or celebrity Facebook arbitrage, there’s always a nice little period where the hacks really work, before everyone else in the industry gets hip to them.