App Store Video Guidelines: How Apple and Google are Different

March 27th, 2020

App Store Video Guidelines: How Apple and Google are Different
Anh Nguyen

by Anh Nguyen

COO & Co-Founder at Gummicube, Inc

An App Store Video is a creative asset for most mobile apps and games that can provide a look at the app in action, making it an important part of App Store Optimization. The video should be carefully designed to demonstrate the app and its features in an engaging manner, which may require creating different videos for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It’s important to understand the different rules and guidelines for each store when designing an app video.

Apple App Store

The App Store guidelines for App Preview videos include certain rules and restrictions that developers must follow. Videos that do not adhere to these guidelines are likely to be rejected.

App Preview Videos on the Apple App Store must:

  • Primarily use footage captured from within the app itself
  • Be no longer than 30 seconds
  • Use only material the developer has the legal right to display, such as music and characters
  • Paid content such as subscriptions must be disclosed within the footage or frame
  • Avoid adult themes and content

App Previews can use minor graphic elements when necessary, such as “to demonstrate how navigation or interaction works within the app.”

Apple also recommends that videos:

  • Use the native resolution of the UI instead of zooming in
  • Use straightforward transitions so as to not imply any functionality the app doesn’t have
  • Add text to provide context to the footage
  • Use a musical overlay or professional voiceover to provide a sense of continuity to the video

App Preview Videos can be in landscape or portrait mode. As the video can only use in-app footage, this will typically reflect the mode the app is played in. Apps that can function in landscape or portrait mode are advised to see which style users respond best to. Keep in mind that a single landscape asset or three portrait mode assets will appear with the app in search results.

Google Play Store

Google Play Promo Videos have different requirements than iOS App Preview Videos. Unlike App Previews, Promo Videos can use footage from outside the app, so it’s not uncommon for videos to include footage of users enjoying the app or animations overlaying the video. Promo Videos are played from YouTube, so the video will always be in landscape mode. Apps and games used in portrait mode should consider adding extra art assets or graphics to the side of the app footage to avoid leaving empty space.

Google Play Promotional Videos must:

  • Turn off monetization
  • Be set on YouTube as public or unlisted, but not private
  • Be embeddable on the Play Store
  • Be in landscape format

For video content, Google recommends:

  • Focusing on the core features within the first 30 seconds of the video, as this is the portion that will automatically play
  • Keeping the video between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long, though it can technically be longer
  • Adding copy text, but do not include information suggesting or reflecting “Play Store performance, ranking, or price and promotional information”
  • Localizing the video to each region and language it’s available in

When the video does not play, it will display the Feature Graphic for the app. As with any creative asset, A/B testing is highly recommended. Developers can run Google Play Experiments to see if a certain video results in a higher conversion rate than others or if users respond better to a certain Feature Graphic.

App Store Optimization

Developers should be sure to follow App Store Video best practices when designing their videos. The different guidelines and recommendations for Apple’s App Preview Videos and Google’s Promo Videos may necessitate creating distinct videos for each store.

Remember to use the video to get users excited for the app, showcase its value and indicate why users should download. By following the video guidelines and ASO best practices, the App Store Video can be a powerful tool for user conversion.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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