ASO Teardown: What's a Household Name like Spotify Doing to Get Ahead on the App Store

Ariel Michaeli Ariel Michaeli
#aso-teardown
ASO Teardown: What's a Household Name like Spotify Doing to Get Ahead on the App Store

Welcome to ASO Teardowns, a series where we dissect the strategies apps use to gain visibility on the App Store and Google Play for you to learn from.

Spotify is a household name in music streaming, but while it's clear they're leveraging ASO to get more downloads, there are issues with their strategy that are costing them potential impressions.

Overall ASO Score: A-

In this ASO teardown, we'll be looking at what Spotify is doing with its ASO. What works, what doesn't, and what you can learn from its page to get more impressions and downloads for your app.

Spotify by the Numbers

Before we start analyzing Spotify's page, let's get some background on the app's performance on the App Store:

  • 4.8 Million downloads in the last month
  • About 30% from the US, the rest from all over the world
  • #1 in the Music category in the US
  • 95% of new ratings were positive in the last month

For ASO purposes, this means they can take on many competitive keywords.

Analyzing Spotify’s ASO Strategy

Now, let's look at the key components of ASO: keywords, to get found and send more people to the app's page, and visuals, to convert those people into users (aka. downloads).

Keyword Analysis

For iOS apps, there are three areas Apple looks at for keywords: the app's name, subtitle, and keyword list. Since the keyword list is private, let's analyze Spotify's name and subtitle:

  • Name: Spotify: Music and Podcasts
  • Subtitle: Discover the latest songs

Based on the name and subtitle, it looks like Spotify’s current strategy is targeting three main sets of keywords:

  • Spotify
  • Song(s), Music, Podcast(s)
  • Discover music/podcast(s)/song(s)
  • Latest music/podcast(s)/song(s)

Here are all 16 keyword combinations, along with Spotify's current rank and additional information for each keyword:

By looking at the keywords (and in a bit the screenshots), we can see that Spotify's overall messaging is focused on the concept of "discovery." That makes a lot of sense. There are enough places to stream music from (ahm. Apple...), so Spotify is trying to differentiate itself by appealing to a need that supersedes just streaming music — finding new music.

Beyond these keywords, the app ranks in a few other popular keywords:

Takeaways:

  • A focused message makes keyword selection easier, so start there.
  • Use your most important keywords in the name, slightly less important in the subtitle, and the rest in your keyword list. They all combine but carry different weights.
  • Create patterns that amplify the power of your keywords when the name, subtitle, and keyword list combine.

Suggestions

  • Replace "latest" with "new." Combinations with the word latest have a very low popularity score while the same searches with the word "new" are significantly more popular.

    For example, Latest music has a popularity score of 5, which means it gets little to no searches. New music has a popularity of 21.


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Spotify's Keyword List

Although the keyword list is private and can only be see by the developer and Apple's search algorithm, given enough data we can reverse-engineer it and analyze it. Based on keywords the app ranks in that aren't already in the name and subtitle, we believe Spotify's keyword list looks something like the following:

listen,stream,streaming,sound,cloud,pandora,shazam,amazon,podcasting,artist,pop

Note: Mentioning competitors is usually a cause for rejection and generally a waste of characters, but in cases where there's a lot of brand recognition and competitors' names are very generic it's worth including them.

Takeaways:

  • Use keywords that combine with those in the app's name and subtitle well
  • Try keywords that relate to how user would use your app, not just describe it (ex. rock, pop, which are genres of music and not specific features)

Screenshot Analysis

Spotify's screenshots are a great example of how screenshots should be done! All ten are used, the layout is clean, full of contrast, and each has a clear and actionable statement.

You'll notice the app's interface, while visible, isn't really what gets the emphasis here. That's because there's only so much a list of songs or even cover art can do to help turn an impression into a download.

Instead, Spotify chose to emphasize their messaging (same as the keywords) with the focus being "discovery" and brought in a real person into the screenshots to humanize it and make the viewer connect with it on a more emotional level

Legible text that's very easy to read on a solid background means the actionable text in every screenshot is likely to get read if the user looks at it.

Takeaways:

  • Humanizing your app's page can improve your conversion and is highly worth an A/B test
  • Add a callout to every screenshot to make it actionable
  • While the app's UI is what the user will get, if it isn't helping to sell it don't make it the focus

Video Analysis

Spotify does not use a video (aka App Preview) on the App Store. Videos are great to show how an app works or engage with gameplay, but in Spotify’s case, there isn’t much to show.

Using the space instead to show a static actionable message is more likely to increase the conversion rate.

Takeaways:

  • Not all apps benefit from having a video. If you’re not sure A/B test.
  • The first screenshot/video spot is the most valuable on your page. Make it count by displaying the most actionable CTA there.

Spotify vs. the Competition - Competing with Apple isn't Easy

With its current strategy, Spotify is taking on two different types of competitors. Music streaming apps (such as Pandora) and podcast players (such as Overcast). And Apple.

Music

For music streaming, Spotify's most notable competition comes from direct rivals Apple Music and Pandora. Although Apple Music is bundled with every iPhone it can also be downloaded from the store and shows up in search results. Even though Apple has the advantage, Spotify leads the pack here, ranking in more popular keywords than both Apple and Pandora.

Podcasts

On the podcast side of things, there isn't a clear winner. Apple has a podcast player but it leaves a lot to be desired, making room for smaller competitors like Overcast, and The Podcast App. Because Spotify is new(ish) to the podcast game however, it trails behind all three. They'd need a tougher strategy to penetrate the top results for these keywords.

Summary

It might be hard to fathom, but not everyone has Spotify's app on their phone. That's why Spotify is investing in ASO. Their keyword strategy leaves out useful keywords, but their screenshots do a great job converting the traffic they get.

Given its popularity, Spotify's focus on converting impressions to downloads isn't a mistake nor an accident. However, it won't take much for them to get even more impressions, and that's why we scored this one an A-.

Your Turn

How's your ASO strategy performing? The key to success with ASO is to constantly make changes, and base those on data. Appfigures has all the tools you need to find and evaluate keywords, track performance, and monitor the competition. Get started


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