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WWDC Preview: Apple TV Has an App Developer Crisis to Deal With

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If the future of TV is apps, then Apple has a serious issue to solve. Data from mobile app business intelligence company Adjust shows that only 4.1 percent of Apple TV owners who download an app still use it after 30 days. That's lower than the percent of iPhone and iPad users who return to apps after the same period of time, and it points to a looming developer crisis.

With Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) set to start next week, Adjust reasons that developers may abandon the tvOS platform due to low retention. If their apps aren't being used, after all, there's less of a chance they can generate revenue from in-app purchases or advertising.

Why popular mobile apps perform poorly on Apple TV is a mystery to Adjust.

“These are apps that are some of the best performers on phones and tablets, yet when the apps are brought to Apple TV—just like tvOS was meant to—they fall flat,” says Christian Henschel, CEO and co-founder of Adjust, “Compared to the benchmarks, the tvOS apps are the lowest quartile performers overall.”

Adjust predicts that Apple will unveil a solution next week, announcing enhancements to the platform such as improved tools for developers that allow them to build apps natively designed for larger TV screens, which will then play a bigger role in the living room.

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