Mobile App Success Story: Zedge

A lot of people change their Android devices’ wallpapers as much as once a week. They are constantly on the lookout for something that matches their personality, something trendy, yet personal. Zedge Inc. was able to discover this on time. Zedge has always been a fast-paced company. The company had its first office in Trondheim, Norway in the year 2007 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange about 9years later. Since then, the company has never slowed down.
Zedge is an app used to download ringtones, customized wallpapers, ringtones, notification sounds and home screen app icons. The application affords cell phone users the opportunity to customize their phones to their taste; with a variety of packages.

For several years, Zedge has been a very popular app, used by customers to personalize their phones. The application, which offers a series of personalization content is powered by a very large recommendation engine. Zedge currently offers personalization services to over 30 million users around the globe, on Android and iOS devices.

Brilliant Idea

Zedge Inc., a company which was quick to discover the need for users to customize their phones any way they like,  created a versatile app which allows users to make a choice from a wide collection of ever-changing wallpapers, ringtones, icons, games, and widgets. Once the app is opened, for Android devices, users are launched into the wallpapers section of the app and are given four different tabs to choose from.
Zedge offers users as much as 22 options for wallpapers and 26 options for ringtones and notifications. You can also rate each wallpaper, by giving a ‘thumbs up or a thumbs down’. This option has a way of increasing confidence in a product. Zedge also gives users the option of logging in and becoming a member, in the event the user has multiple devices which he/she uses Zedge on and wants to go through his/her favorite ringtones from all these devices.
The App has continues to grow and expand with each passing day. In January 2017, Zedge app had about 33.4 million users, this grew by a whopping 6%, with Zedge Users totaling about 35.5million users in January 2018. The Zedge has been installed about 306.2million times as at January 31st, 2018, this is a sharp increase from the application’s 246.3million install count as at January 2017.

How Zedge Did It

As you know, we talked about how to promote personalization apps before. Now, it is time to dig deeper and examine which strategies Zedge used to reach the success.
Zedge offers a user-friendly interface for its users, which allows them to quickly navigate from one section of the app to another. This goes a long way to foster the application’s success as mobile app users only repeat apps they find easy to use.
The Zedge application, when opened shows a “Feature or Discover” pop up,  you can click on discover, to enable you to browse by category or color.
Zedge also features headers that are worth checking out, on the “featured” section and there is no doubt that it is a very brilliant way of advertising.

With a “recent” and “popular” tab, Zedge allows users to see what is hot at the moment and what other users just downloaded. These tabs have a way of dragging users to themselves, especially those with what is hot, thus garnering more patronage for the application.

Zedge divided its platform into a number of services; The Zedge wallpaper being primarily for wallpapers, the Zedge ringtones offering tones specific to phone brands, alarm sounds, and generic ringtone. The ringtones available are mostly free, while the rest require some payments or credits and the Zedge premium ringtones and Marimba ringtones; with ringtones, which feature some infusion of Marimba sounds. To get one, the Zedge app directs you to the iTunes store.

Business Model

Zedge monetizes its platform in several subtle ways, through strategic investments and acquisition. Although the application does not invest in direct advertising, they generate over 90% of their revenue, which is about $26.1million monthly, from selling advertising inventory to advertising networks and direct collaboration with advertisers. The platform attracts advertisers because of its sizeable user base and its focus on mobile phone customization and personalization.

Zedge Premium Market Place

Zedge, in their bid to expand their horizon, has a marketplace open to its 35million active users.  Professional artists, photographers, illustrators, audio engineers and musicians around the globe are given the opportunity to showcase their content like HD wallpapers, music, exclusive ringtones, music and videos to a large number of consumers.
This gives content creators an opportunity to promote and sell their art on the platform, with full control and ownership of their creations; with Zedge providing an easy user interface and a team committed to making the best out of each item’s performance and sales. The fact they Zedge developed this platform, in an artist-friendly way, with vast monetization and promotional capabilities is also one good reason the app is so successful. It generates income by creating wealth for budding professionals through the apps users.

Revenue Generation Through Zedge Collections

Zedge also has a distribution channel which is used by brands to offer Zedge’s 35 million subscribers a fully themed home screen experience centered around these brands and what they represent. Several companies like sports illustrated, ESPN’s X Games and Entertainment One are some of the brands that have taken advantage of this platform. These brands create collections which provide users with a vast array of personalization content like wallpapers and ringtones combined with some short video clips and opportunities for merchandise. The platform basically provides brands with an opportunity to interact with their users in a native fashion, making it easier for these brands to be entrenched in the memories of these users as they get to personalize their phones with their favorite moments from the contents these brands offer.

For instance, a lot of movie content from Entertainment One (eOne) has been published on the Zedge Collections platform; these snippets come from movies like “La La Land”, “John Wick 2”, “ Blair Witch”, “Bad Santa 2” and “The Little Prince”.

Putting these movies on the platform did not only create solid user engagement, but it gave these movies an impressive lead generation and increased sales.

Zedge for Android: Zedge offers a number of services to about 16.4million monthly users. Apart from being one of the Top 20 free App, available on Google Play store for the past three years, the app offers:

  • Live wallpapers and HD wallpapers available for Android devices.
  • A useful Game Launcher Widget, which collects your game into a place, conveniently.
  • Ability to change your phone’s wallpaper easily through a Wallpaper Widget.
  • Generally, Zedge offers you contents, tailored to suit your device.

Zedge for iPhone: For iOS devices;

  • Zedge offers the latest wallpapers, specifically tailored for iOS devices
  • There is also a “free ringtones” feature available
  • These ringtones are almost all-encompassing as they come in categories such as Comedy, Rock, Electronica and lots more. For iPhones, Zedge features a number of versions for the application on the iOS store: MyZedge application, Zedge wallpaper, and Zedge Premium app.
  • The app offers ringtones, alarm sounds, message tones, alert sounds for Facebook, email, calendar reminders, and tweets
  • The Premium quality wallpapers tailored for each iOS device
  • Wide variety of browse and search options
  • User-friendly and responsive navigation

 

Final Thoughts

Zedge Inc. has continued to increase their ability to meet users’ expectations and stakeholders because they only retain employees who are not just professionals but are also passionate about what the company stands for.
With increased investment in technology, marketing, and product branding, Zedge seems to continue to gain more usage and retention. This only means their ability to attract advertisers likely to rise.
Considering how successful the app has been so far, the application’s monetization techniques which is always improving, the company’s strategic investment and acquisition decisions and the number of users the platform has both on  Android and iOS; it is safe to say Zedge application, with millions of users worldwide, has not only been successful thus far, but will only continue to soar higher, for a very long time.

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