As Federico Viticci reports:
The big news is, of course, the fact that Apple is embedding a video in the App Store, which has historically only allowed developers to include up to five static screenshots for their apps. …
The possibility of including videos alongside screenshots on the App Store has long been one of the most requested features by third-party developers who, over the years, have struggled to explain App Store customers the purpose of their app or game with just text and images.
I’d love for Apple to roll this out more broadly… I think.
If they only enable videos for a very small number of featured apps, that’s actually a bad thing for the rest of the App Store — it can create a class divide of sorts. What will customers think of your video-less app if most of the ones they’ve seen in the featured sections and top lists have videos? How likely will they be to take a risk on your app if they get accustomed to seeing videos before buying?
Enabling videos for all apps would be much more fair, of course. It would add more perceived value to apps before purchasing, which would somewhat improve the store’s pricing problems and make it a bit easier to sell paid-up-front apps. (Probably not by a lot.) Even for free-up-front apps, more people would be willing to download the good ones after seeing a video, which helps almost everyone.
But that’s a double-edged sword: if Apple does let everyone add videos to their app listings, and buyers start expecting them, then developers will need to produce app videos, and that’s time-consuming and potentially expensive. It would also become a way for deep-pocketed developers to gain an advantage over everyone else: how will your app sell if your video is a nice screen recording of a feature tour in the simulator, then your competitor buys a Sandwich Video?
Also, the App Store reviewers only have a few minutes to spend on each app. Reviewing minute-long videos will add up, so this could also result in slower app-review times.
Be careful what you wish for in the App Store. App videos might be great overall, but they won’t be free.