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SmartNews app icon


Users stay informed.
SmartNews cultivates new audiences.

SmartNews ad on the App Store
With over 50 million downloads, SmartNews is one of Japan’s most popular sources for information. SmartNews gained business insights to expand reach into more content categories and grew new reader installs by 20 percent with Apple Search Ads.

The Results

20% more installs than past campaigns.
40% improvement in CPI with keyword and bidding optimization.
30% lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for day 7 users.

The Challenge

SmartNews offers over 1,000 channels covering everything from politics to pets. While most news apps focus on personalization to automatically deliver content according to the user’s preferences, SmartNews delivers news that broadens the user’s interests and drives discovery. To reach new audiences as well as improve retention rates, the team at SmartNews wanted to broaden the app’s content to include lifestyle categories like weather, entertainment, coupons, and cuisine.

Apple Search Ads drives high-quality acquisition and stronger retention rates while also informing our product and content development.

The Solution

Reach new audiences with a broader range of keywords.

With Apple Search Ads discovery campaigns, the SmartNews team expanded keyword coverage by identifying high-performing search terms outside of the news genre, including keywords like coupon and weather. They adjusted their bidding strategy based on performance, increasing investment in the new keywords driving the most conversions. This optimization strategy improved install growth by 20 percent compared with previous campaigns, while reducing cost-per-install (CPI) by 40 percent. 

Gain business insights to inform strategy and investment.

The SmartNews team also leveraged Apple Search Ads to better understand new audiences and their interests. By tracking impressions, install volume, retention rate, and click-through rate at the keyword level, they gained valuable insights that informed content and new app feature development. “Apple Search Ads drives high-quality acquisition and stronger retention rates while also providing data to inform our product and content development,” says SmartNews Marketing Manager Takashi Amitani.

Optimize creative to drive incremental growth.

To capture the attention of new audiences, the SmartNews team aligned high-performing ad groups with their creative. They also benefited from an ad creative rule that enables an Apple Search Ads advertiser to display more images and video previews whenever their app is the first organic search result and is also featured as an ad. This gave the team at SmartNews new ways to showcase their app on iPhone screens, building deeper user engagement.

Company Snapshot

  • SmartNews, Inc.
  • News category
  • Launched in 2012
  • Based in Tokyo, Japan
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