OTT Apps And How Users Find Them: Your ASO Handbook

Industry Insights
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    Creating an engaging OTT application can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. Of course, with the help of CTV channel development companies, the strain can be minimized. However, even the most polished product will not bring in customers by itself; they need to discover it first.

    According to a Google survey, 48% of people found apps by browsing the app store, and 34% followed recommendations there. This makes up a total of 82%, making it the most popular method by far, followed by friends’ and family recommendations.

    We can see then that the prominence of the app store makes app success more likely. Moreover, in contrast with things like friends’ recommendations or shares on social media that cannot be easily affected, marketers have several ways to rank up their app in the store. To make this happen, they use ASO, or App Store Optimization.

    What is App OTT Store Optimization?

    ASO is a set of techniques that influence the visibility of your apps in the store. An increased number of impressions leads to more app downloads, which is usually the focus of the ASO. In addition, it can improve the brand recognition and engagement of your customers, which serves as a supplementary benefit.

    Fundamentally, ASO works in two ways: either by improving the customer experience or by influencing the in-app algorithms that decide how high the app should rank. Marketers rarely focus on one specific way, usually preferring to optimize everything at once.

    The ASO is best compared to its close relative, the SEO. In the case of app optimization, they often overlap, supplementing each other to achieve the app’s popularity. Furthermore, the tactics applicable to SEO also work on ASO, including keyword research, CTR optimization, and SERPS indexation.

    But they differ in two major ways: investment and user intent. SEO is a longer-term strategy that may not bring immediate results, whereas ASO is focused on short-term goals. For the former, the advertising budget may not be the most important part, but for the ASO, it largely impacts both downloads and visibility.

    For OTT marketing, ASO is a cornerstone that can make or break the project. In the Entertainment category of both Google Play and the Apple Store, the OTT apps add up to more than half of overall downloads, reaching 53.2% in 2022. Media giants like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu are constantly competing for downloads in both stores, raising the lucrativeness of the OTT apps. For this reason, optimizing your app is crucial when it comes to the OTT industry.

    App Store Optimization for OTT Apps: Developing a Strategy

    To make sure that their app is topping the charts, marketers utilize four main techniques. They are: 

    • influencing ranking factors; 
    • selecting keywords; 
    • optimizing their app store listing; 
    • and developing a good number of positive reviews and ratings. 

    These are sorted in order of importance; so , ranking factors and keywords influence app listing the most, while a decent number of reviews is a supplementary strategy. However, each method is still important, so let’s dive in and discover how we should approach them.

    Ranking Factors

    These factors are the pillars that hold everything together, deciding how well the app will fare in the market. They consist of several building blocks, including but not limited to:

    • Download Velocity: In other words, how often the app is being downloaded. Both Google Play and Apple Store prioritize stability over a big advertising campaign,,= meaning that a sudden influx of downloads will matter less than a steady flow of users. While it cannot be influenced directly, you can help uphold the velocity by bringing constant updates to the app.
    • Conversion Rate: If your app ranks highly but users often overlook it, stores may decide to lower its rank. To avoid that, you should make sure that your app can attract customers at first glance. To do that, paying extra attention to icons and screenshots has proven to be helpful in converting users.
    • User Retention: Often overlooked, the retention rate signifies how many uninstalls an app receives. To avoid user churn, you should do occasional promotions, add new features, and make frequent updates.
    • Localization: Tailoring your app to a specific locale can not only boost its rank but also provide additional reach to new markets and improve its global visibility.
    • Ratings and Reviews: Stores appreciate customer engagement with the app and rank it higher if the app has a substantial number of positive reviews and ratings.


    App store algorithms try to show their customers the most relevant apps. To do that, they sort apps by categories and match them to the users’ search results. This is where the app store keyword optimization comes in – manually chosen by the app owner, keywords help the sorting process while boosting the app along the way.

    There is no universal method for choosing the perfect keywords every time. Marketers will tend to go either by trial and error, constantly switching keywords to see what works, or by using tools for OTT apps store optimization, and researching already available data. The latter is, of course, the more effective approach, but these keywords might not be a perfect match.

    One piece of advice is to try and predict keywords that potential customers will search for instead of going by associations. In the case of OTT apps, people rarely search for apps using words like “series” or “entertainment”, even though these are closely connected to OTTs. Instead, you should try to place yourself in the shoes of the customer and think about what you would enter in the field when searching for a new OTT app. This is where keyword databases can help, providing useful general hints.

    Another tip is to not overdo it. Even though it seems natural to gather as many keywords as you can, it might lead you to a totally different result, making the algorithm less focused.  focus. Choose up to 10 keywords you can compete for and work in that direction instead.

    Finally, persistence is the key. Usually, the initial keywords are not the most successful ones, so you should constantly analyze the performance of the app, switching underperforming keywords for new ones.

    Understanding The App Store Listing

    Knowing the right keywords is just half of the task. The next step is inserting them into your app’s listing itself, which includes everything that the user sees on the page. It includes:

    • App title
    • Its description
    • The URL

    Make sure that keywords are inserted organically and are not overwhelming the text; both users and algorithms tend to reject this. The technical term for this is “keyword stuffing”, and it is closely monitored by services’ algorithms. In the past, marketers could manage to achieve top results by spamming keywords. When services caught on to this strategy, they imposed  stiff penalties to prevent it from happening again.

    Following this, , take a look at your page. Keywords are especially important for algorithms, but for users, looks matter the most. Does your app have a concise subtitle that describes it? Is the icon noticeable and bright, and are the screenshots descriptive? Is the additional app information up-to-date and descriptive? Depending on how complete your page is, downloads may  go up or down substantially.

    Reviews & Ratings

    Finally, it comes down to app ratings. What matters most is a constant stream of positive reviews; even if your app is rated 5-stars, it will not necessarily reach the top of the store’s rankings. Marketers may use various methods to maintain a rating flow; for example, non-invasive pop-up notifications could well encourage the user to leave a positive review. And vice versa, a frequent and annoying pop-up will only make things worse.

    Responding to negative feedback may also prove useful, as it not only shows that the developer cares about their user base but also sometimes changes the bad review for a good one.

    Ratings are not only important for the ranking in terms of how algorithms perceive them but also encourage  potential users to download the app; after all, a long list of five-star ratings with words of praise is the best proof that the app is good.

    Mastering the craft

    Helping your app reach the top of the ladder  is no easy task. Knowing the right keywords requires experience, and managing different ranking factors can be difficult as well. What matters most, however, is patience. Constantly analyzing the success of your ASO and making changes as necessary is the most beneficial approach for OTT app store optimization.

    Checking on your keywords once or twice a month, keeping the updates flowing, and incentivizing your customers will go a long way. Launching an OTT app, after all, is only half the task – the other half is making it land.