The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store
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The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store

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Being featured is one way to stand out from the crowd in the major app stores. Developers, publishers, marketers and decision makers struggle with the question which app will be picked by the app ...

Being featured is one way to stand out from the crowd in the major app stores. Developers, publishers, marketers and decision makers struggle with the question which app will be picked by the app store team to be featured and what the effect will be on downloads and revenue.

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The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store Document Transcript

  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store Publication - April 2014 By Tiuri van Agten, Analyst at Distimo Solving the App-Puzzle
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 ALL DATA IN THIS REPORT IS A PRODUCT OF DISTIMO APPIQ - THE MOST ACCURATE MARKET DATA, GLOBALLY. AppIQ provides daily download and revenue estimates for any app, globally. Distimo AppIQ
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store Being featured is one way to stand out from the crowd in the major app stores. Developers, publishers, marketers and decision makers struggle with the question which app will be picked by the app store team to be featured and what the effect will be on downloads and revenue. To shed some light on this matter, this month’s publication takes a deeper look into the different types of feature categories in the major app stores. What kind of feature categories exist? Which kind of apps get featured? And most importantly; to what extent is being featured beneficial in terms of downloads and potentially even more significant in terms of revenue? This publication covers data from categories and individual apps, mainly in the Apple App Store. All data reported in this publication is extracted directly from AppIQ Distimo’s market intelligence product. For this study, we primarily focus on the United States, since this country is the biggest country in terms of revenue. The reporting period covers March 2014, unless otherwise stated. Major Findings The Apple App Store contains two kinds of feature categories: permanent categories and categories for special occasions. The feature category that had the highest effect on download and revenue performance in March in the U.S. was ‘Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢’. Downloads of apps were 6 times higher in the featured period than before this period. In March 2014, feature categories that relatively increased download the most were ‘If You Like... Badland’, ‘Backyard Battles’, ‘Band in Your Hand’ and ‘Spring Forward’. Feature categories that relatively improved revenue the most in March were ‘If You Like... Badland’, ‘Burly Brawlers’, ‘Band in Your Hand’ and ‘Interactive Stories for Kids’. All four ‘If you Like…Candy Crush / ...Minecraft / ...The Room / ...Badland’ categories positively affected downloads of the apps in these categories. Being ‘like Badland’ was most beneficial with an average increase in downloads of 395 percent. Not all feature categories improve downloads or revenue in the Apple App Store. Two feature categories that showcase indie games: ‘Essentials: 10 Incredible Indie Games‘ & ‘Indie Game Showcase’ did not boost download volumes nor revenue. Not only brand-new titles are listed in the ‘Best New Apps’ and ‘Best New Games’ categories. Well preforming apps that were published months or even years ago have been selected in these categories as well. Imagine apps like Bloons TB 5 HD, Evernote, Shazam, Strava, Subway Surfers and Hay Day. Join our webinar on:The Impact of Being Featured in an App Store. On Wednesday April 30, 6PM CET/ 9AM PST. Please, register here.
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Feature Categories in the Apple App Store In general, two kinds of feature categories can be identified in the Apple App Store: permanent categories and categories for a special occasion. Permanent categories are always available or at least available for a long time. ‘Best New Apps’, ‘Best New Games’ and ‘Editors’ Choice’ are obvious examples of categories that give apps some special attention. Also less well-known categories have been present in the App Store for a while now. For example, ‘New to the App Store?’(since January 2013) and ‘Only on the App Store’ (since June 2013). The content of these categories differs among countries and even slightly per device. It is interesting to note that the difference per device is not caused by apps that are only optimized for one of the two devices, since most apps that were featured in these categories were universal apps. The rotation speed of feature categories differs between categories and countries. The table below provides a summary of the number of apps and the average amount of featured days in the ‘being new’ categories in the United States and Japan. Permanent Categories This data indicates that more apps were featured in the U.S. compared to Japan and consequently the featured period is shorter in the U.S. as well. In other categories the rotation speed could be zero. Apps in ‘New to the App Store?’ do not leave this category; once an app is selected this app remains a must-have for new consumers. Some choices of the selected apps in both ‘being new’ categories are remarkable. One might expect brand-new apps in these lists. This is not true. Well performing apps that were published months or even years ago have been selected in these categories. Imagine apps like Bloons TB 5 HD, Evernote, Shazam, Strava, Subway Surfers and Hay Day. Some of these apps just released a new version, which could explain their presence. However, this does not apply to all ‘old’ apps. Moreover, three apps managed to be featured twice in the new categories within the same month which is even more remarkable for a new category, Univision Deportes, MLB.com At Bat and DIY Sun Science.
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Feature Categories on Google Play Like the Apple App Store, Google Play pays extra attention to new apps in their ‘new’ categories and Google Play lists must-have apps in the ‘Starterkit’-apps, which is the equivalent of Apple’s ‘New to the Appstore’ category. Next to these categories, Google Play lists all-time favorite apps in the category ‘Editor’s Choice’, which is also available in the Apple App Store. Apps that are listed in this category include Tuneln Radio, BBC News and CSR Racing. This list does not change considerably, which means that there is hardly any effect of being featured in this category on the app’s performance. In contrast, ‘Trending Apps’ is a feature category that changes every day. According to Google Play, these apps are showing a growth in installs within the last 24 hours. This means that this category has an opposite causal relationship than one might expect from feature categories; performing well and then getting listed instead of being featured in the first place, which results in a beneficial impact for an app’s downloads and/or revenue. The second group of feature categories in the Apple App Store is categories for a special occasion or to emphasize a certain genre or an event in general. Illustrative examples are ‘Kids’ Choice Awards 2014’ (available prior to this award show), ‘Back to School’, ‘Microsoft Office’ (a special category for the new Office apps on iPad) or ‘If You Like… Badland’. The characteristics of these categories differ a lot. Some of these categories exist for a relatively long time, e.g. ‘Sweets & Treats’ in Japan (49 days). Others last only a single day such as ‘Essentials: 10 Amazing Racing Games’ in the U.S. Some of these categories featured only a few apps. For example, ‘Microsoft Office’ listed only the four new Office apps for iPad. Others include a lot of apps: ‘Get in Shape’ with 119 unique apps in the U.S. Special Occasion Categories DOWNLOADS INCREASE WHILE BEING FEATURED FOR AN EVENT Estimated Downloads for Nick by Nickelodeon, United States, Apple App Store Featured in: Kids’ Choice Awards 2014 3/1/2014 3/11/2014 3/21/2014 3/31/2014 4/10/2014
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 To study the effects of being featured on apps, we look at the average downloads in the featured period compared to the average downloads in the 7 days before the feature period. We only take the apps into account that were available in the whole period before the featured period. With this approach we exclude new apps to avoid any biased results due to download uptakes from newly released apps. Moreover, we exclude any app that has changed prices to exclude possible effects of prices changes on download volumes. In terms of growth of download volumes, the following five feature categories caught our attention, as the feature impact was significantly beneficial for the featured apps in these categories in March 2014. The Feature Impact on Downloads Out of all new feature categories in March, the ‘Backyard Battles’ in the U.S. is an interesting category to dive into a bit deeper. The download volumes of these apps were already relatively high and due to the featured period, average downloads of these apps went up by over 300 percent. One of the apps in this category was ‘Backyard Monsters: Unleashed’ by KIXEYE, a free Action game. Average downloads increased with 742 percent in the featured period compared to the average downloads of the 7 days before the featured period. A spike in downloads during the featured period is a first positive effect. Sometimes we can identify a second positive impact, when an app continues to reach a higher download level after the featured period compared to the period before being featured. This was definitely the case for ‘Backyard Monsters’. The average download volume after the featured period was 53 percent higher than before. TOP 5 MOST BENEFICIAL FEATURE CATEGORIES In Terms of Download Growth in the US, iOS , March 2014 0% 100% 200% 300% 400% 500% 600% Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢ If You Like... Badland Backyard Battles Band in Your Hand Spring Forward
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 The number two category in terms of downloads growth, ‘If you like… Badland’, is part of a feature series. Over the last two months, three similar categories to ‘If you like…’ were available as well for Candy Crush, Minecraft and The Room. The characteristics of these categories are summarized in the following table. For the calculation of the growth rate, we excluded the eponymous apps for each category. Featured in: Backyard Battles 3/1/2014 3/11/2014 3/21/2014 3/31/2014 4/10/2014 DOWNLOADS INCREASE WHILE BEING FEATURED Backyard Monsters: Unleashed by KIXEYE Estimated Downloads, Apple App Store, U.S. ‘IF YOU LIKE...’ ARE BENEFICIAL FEATURED CATEGORIES Average Download Increase per Category, Apple App Store, U.S.
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 All four categories are beneficial for the apps that were featured. To illustrate this effect on app level, the graph below shows downloads volumes per example app in the period of these four categories. Puzzle Craft was featured in ‘If you Like … Candy Crush’ from February 14th to February 20th. The downloads for this app went up by 1326 percent. Then from February 21st to 27th, Tiny Tower was ‘like Minecraft’ and experienced a 77 percent growth in downloads. A day later The Silent Age’s downloads went up by 488 percent because of being featured in the ‘The Room’ category. Finally, Sea Stars, which was selected to be similar to Badland on March 7th, benefited from this feature with a download increase of 1,000 percent. ‘IF YOU LIKE...’ CATEGORIES BOOST DOWNLOAD VOLUMES Estimated Downloads per App, Apple App Store, United States 2/10/2014 2/20/2014 3/2/2014 3/12/2014 Puzzle Craft Featured in: If you Like… Candy Crush Tiny Tower Featured in: If you Like… Minecraft The Silent Age Featured in: If you Like… The Room Sea Stars Featured in: If you Like… Badland
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Making the same assumptions as we did for studying the effect on download, we now take a look at the impact of being featured on monetization. The Feature Impact on Revenue On average, the revenue of the featured apps in ‘Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢’ showed the most significant increase of all categories in March in the U.S. followed by Badland & Co. ‘Burly Brawlers’, ‘Band in Your Hand’ and ‘Interactive Stories for Kids’ completed the top 5 most significant feature categories. One of the apps in the ‘Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢’ was Shark Dash by Gameloft. The revenue, especially from one- off fees, was 9 times higher during the featured period compared to the 7 days before this. Average Revenue Increase in Top Feature Categories In Terms of Revenue Growth in the U.S., iOS, March 2014 Featured in: Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢ 3/1/2014 3/11/2014 3/21/2014 3/31/2014 4/10/2014 Estimated Downloads Estimated Revenue REVENUE AND DOWNLOAD GROWTH WHILE BEING FEATURED Estimated Revenue and Downloads Shark Dash by Gameloft, Apple App Store, United States 0% 100% 200% 300% 400% 500% Amazing Puzzlers for 99¢ If You Like... Badland Burly Brawlers Band in Your Hand Interactive Stories for Kids
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 One might hope to reach a higher revenue level after the featured period compared to the period before the event. Especially, in the case of apps that offer in-app purchases. In March, we found just a few apps that support this hypothesis. Smash Bandits Racing by Hutch Games Ltd. was one of them. This free app was featured in ’10 Amazing Racing Games’ from March 14th till March 26th. The average revenue in the week after the featured period was 2.5 times higher than in the week before this app was featured. Featured in: 10 Amazing Racing Games 3/1/2014 3/11/2014 3/21/2014 3/31/2014 4/10/2014 Estimated Revenue REVENUE INCREASE WHILE BEING FEATURED Estimated Revenue Smash Bandits Racing by Hutch Games Ltd, Apple App Store, United States
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 It is unclear how an app becomes one of the ‘chosen-ones’. The good news is that it does not cost anything. It is basically a free promotion for the app. This does not always mean that each category feature results in the same positive effect, as some feature categories don’t necessarily have any influence on download or revenue volumes. For example, in March, the Apple App Store introduced two feature categories that showcase indie games: ‘Essentials: 10 Incredible Indie Games‘ and ‘Indie Game Showcase’. Apps in both categories did not profit from this free attention in terms of downloads and revenue. A possible reason for this could be that most of the games in these categories were paid and that the effect of being featured is minor for paid content. Consumers might prefer the free spin of the freemium apps, instead of following the recommendation of the store to purchase a paid app. Taking Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP by Capybara Games Inc. as an illustrative example for this assumption, the revenue development around the feature is shown in the graph below. The Flip Side of the Coin As the graph demonstrates, the revenue of Superbrothers went up in the period of the feature in ‘Spectacular Stories: Games’ from March 14th till 20th. In contrast, being featured in ‘Essentials: 10 Incredible Indie Games’ (March 28th till April 3rd) resulted in a flat line for the revenue. NOT ALL FEATURED CATEGORIES ARE BENEFICIAL Superbrothers: Sword &Sworcery EP by Capybara Games Inc., Apple App Store, United States Featured in: Spectacular Stories: Games Featured in: Essentials: 10 Incredible Indie Games 3/1/2014 3/11/2014 3/21/2014 3/31/2014 4/10/2014 Estimated Downloads Estimated Revenue
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Being featured is a good way to get some free promotion in the app stores. The effects of getting featured depend highly on the feature category. Some categories have a significant effect on downloads or revenue like ‘If you like… Badland’ or ‘Backyard Battles’. Other category features, however, do not show similar expected effects, for example: ‘Essentials: 10 Incredible Indie Games‘ and ‘Indie Game Showcase’. Overall, the effect of getting featured is larger on downloads than on revenue. This also indicates that being featured has a higher effect on free apps than on paid apps. Concluding, with the free promotion, being featured can have huge effects on an app’s downloads or revenue. However, some category features have hardly any effect on the app’s performance. If you see your app being featured, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched, but you could potentially benefit when you know the full impact. Recap Contact us For sales inquiries, please contact us at sales@distimo.com or call +31 30 82 00 567 For press inquiries please contact Mindy M. Hull at mindy@mercuryglobalpartners.com or call +31 62 504 7680 (The Netherlands) or +1 415 889 9977 (San Francisco, United States) Publication - April 2014 Tiuri van Agten Webinar If you want to know more about the effect of being featured, our data and the reporting opportunities of Distimo’s AppIQ, please register for our free webinar on Wednesday, April 30th 2014 at 6:00 PM CET/9:00 AM PST. We would like to invite you to send us your questions related to the topics covered in this publication. We will try to include some answers in the webinar, so please send your questions in advance.
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Amsterdam • London • New York • San Francisco • Tokyo www.distimo.com THE MOST ACCURATE APP MARKET TRACKING GLOBALLY
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Publication - April 2014 Distimo AppIQ allows users to: • Track and compare app downloads and competitor app downloads: Analyze an app’s market share and compare download figures versus a competitor’s in one chart. The chart shows the daily downloads and can also be aggregated per week or month. Events such as price changes, featured listings and version updates are also included, and allow the user to analyze the influence of each event on downloads. • Analyze competing app revenues including those from in-app purchases: View daily revenues from competing apps side-by-side with your own app and get extensive insight into the revenue generation of different business models, revenue per country, and platform. • Identifythemostpopularandupcomingnewapps:TheLeaderboardprovidesthedaily,weekly,monthlyandquarterly rankings of all apps, and can be viewed by app store, country, category, device, and free/paid/gross. All of the major app stores are supported, and for iOS and Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, the daily volumes per individual app are also provided. AppIQ users see the daily downloads and revenue from in-app purchases and one-off fees. Developers can also use the Leaderboard to see how many downloads are needed to achieve a certain ranking on any given day. Learn more about AppIQ at www.distimo.com/appiq Get smarter. Get AppIQ! AppIQ • Benchmark any app’s downloads and revenue • Identify market, store and investment opportunities • Analyze market shares • Plan marketing campaigns more efficiently THE MOST ACCURATE APP MARKET TRACKING GLOBALLY Apple Mac App Store and Windows Phone/Windows Store coming soon!
  • Distimo ©2014, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.Distimo ©2013, some rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Disclaimer This work is licensed under Creative Commons License “Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands”. This license is available for download at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nl/. This license ables you to use, copy, spread, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit Distimo and license your new creations under the identical terms.