How to Create One App Deep Link that Opens iTunes on iOS and Spotify on Android
The fast growth of music streaming apps continued in 2019 with Spotify ending the year in the number one spot with 65.4 million listeners in the United States alone. Apple Music ended the year with a much smaller yet growing base of 33.7 million listeners while Pandora is losing listeners to other platforms including Amazon and Google which are growing at double digit rates. The industry is well on its way to a full recovery after its dramatic post-Napster fall from the peak of CD technology.
For Music labels and producers, this fragmentation of the music streaming app market presents a unique challenge to agencies and marketers. How can campaign links be created that will open a different music app for iOS vs. Android visitors depending on the device clicking the link? It may sound complicated but it’s easy with an app deep linking platform like URLgenius designed for marketers and agencies. This post will take you through the steps.
Deep Linking Into Music Streaming Apps
First some background. The phrase “app deep linking” refers to a link that can open an app while falling back to a web URL or the right app store if the app is not installed. Regular music URLs are designed for only one platform and cannot always open the app so your visitor is sent to the mobile website where login is required. This friction leads to high abandon rates in the listening journey and as a result engagement and revenue suffer. In addition, when most of your iOS listeners prefer iTunes while your Android listeners prefer Spotify or another music app a single deep link that can open both apps would be ideal.
Marketers and agencies can solve for this by taking control of the consumer journey with an app deep linking platform that can update regular music platform links with additional app-open and routing capabilities. There is nothing to install and it takes only minutes to update the link for your campaign. The settings for the deep link are simply updated so the link can open a different app for iOS vs. Android depending on the device clicking.
Step-by-Step: Deep Links That Open iTunes on iOS, Spotify on Android
The first step is to choose a web URL for an artist, album or track and create the deep link for it. Let’s start with this iTunes web URL for the artist Selena Gomez. This is the link that you paste into URLgenius
When you paste the link into the deep linking platform you should have the opportunity to customize the end of the link. In this example, the end of the link is customized to be “Selena-Gomez-2020”.
When you click compose, you will be brought to the settings page. This is where you can copy the link to place into your campaign, change the routing destinations by device or download a QR code for offline marketing:
Since we used the iTunes link to create the deep link that becomes our default destination even when clicked from desktop. So first, let’s update the default destination so when the link is clicked by a desktop or unknown device the visitor will be taken to the Selena Gomez website.
And as a final step lets update the destination for Android devices to be the Spotify app by entering the Android app address for the Selena Gomez artist page. Note that the app address for any artist page in the Spotify app for Android are in the following format with the part in bold being variable according to artist:
That’s the final step! We now have an app deep link for the artist Selena Gomez which is set to open the iTunes app when clicked from an iOS device or the Spotify app if clicked from an Android device. Try it from your mobile device:
The process would be the same if you wanted to swap out Spotify or iTunes for a different streaming app. Your deep linking platform should support just about any music streaming app. If you want to link to a music app that is not on their list yet just ask them to add it. These deep links are free to setup and test. Try creating one for your campaign!