Android users can get access to an app without downloading it. Is this a game changer?
In a test phase, Google app-streaming works only on Android and with just a few apps: HotelTonight, Chimani, Daily Horoscope and New York MTA Subway Map. And in the future Google won’t be streaming any ol’ app it wants: It needs the app’s publisher to agree and to work with Google to make it happen.
The Benefits? For Google, which dominates the open Web, it’s a way to snare app users. Something that must be on the mind of the new Google CEO, Sundar Pichai (pictured top left).
Plus, it makes a more direct connection between consumers and whatever they want to make contact with. “Marketers have spent a lot of time and money in an effort to shorten the customer journey,” said Scott Shamberg, president of Performics U.S. “Streaming apps removes any friction or additional steps for the consumer. This eliminates multiple steps to get the consumer from research to conversion.”
These days, your potential customers spend 88% of their time in mobile apps as opposed to the smartphone browser. That’s a reality that is tough for Google to deal with. People often just search in Amazon instead of launching Chrome.
“While [streaming apps] comes off as innovation and as an offensive strategy, this is really a defensive one,” Mr. Shamberg said. It comes on the heels of another move last week: Google made changes to its shopping section to capture more mobile-first users.