Google Play Videos Gain Auto-Play in Search

January 30th, 2020

Google Play Videos Gain Auto-Play in Search
Anh Nguyen

by Anh Nguyen

COO & Co-Founder at Gummicube, Inc

The Google Play Store has begun rolling out an update to how videos are shown in search results. Google Play Videos now automatically play in search results for certain brands, so app developers should consider how their videos are displayed and perform.

Google Play Videos

The update to the Google Play Store impacts how promo videos are displayed, which can have an impact on clicks and conversions. Normally, search results show an app’s icon and name. Users must click the app to see any of its creative assets, including any Google Play Videos. With this change, the top result can now include a video that automatically plays.

This is similar to how the Apple App Store plays videos in search results, except it is limited to a single result per search. As the feature is only starting to roll out, not all search results will provide an app video; currently only certain brands and search results include a Google Play Video.

While this feature is only beginning for Android phones in the US, mobile games available in Japan are seeing more Google Play Videos in their search results. In these instances, every app has a video displayed in the search results, similar to how the Apple App Store displays them. While this feature is not yet available in America, it’s still important for apps available in Japan and utilizing localization.

This is not entirely unheard of; Google Play Videos already play automatically when viewed in the suggested apps section of the Play Store and in featured lists. These also need to be designed to attract users and convince them to click on the app.

App Store Optimization and Google Play Videos

The Google Play Videos can have an impact on conversions – a good video can improve an app’s conversions by up to 25%. If a video is visible in search results, it will also have an impact on whether or not users click on the app.

While the new videos are still rolling out, there are some things developers should consider in advance. Normally, a Google Play Video uses the feature graphic for the app as the still frame before the video plays. With videos automatically playing, the feature graphic now has less time to make a first impression.

App developers should test their videos to ensure the first impression is a strong one. If a Google Play Video can engage users from the moment it begins playing, it can potentially draw more views. Identifying elements that appeal to users is important for designing creative elements and can improve a Google Play Video’s performance.

Developers with mobile games available in Japan should also ensure their videos are localized for the region. Given that videos and screenshots are displayed with the games in search results, it is important to test the creatives to ensure they appeal to users there.


Google Play is constantly testing new features and updating how the store works. Adding automatic videos to search results is a change that could impact an app’s clickthrough rate. At the moment, the change is only impacting a few brand name apps, but it’s important for developers to be aware should Google extend it further. The most important thing for any Google Play Video is to test it and ensure it drives users.

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

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