Download Boost for Featured Apps is Dropping Fast

Tim Maytom

iPad-Apple-App-Store-iOSBecoming a featured app within an app store can boost downloads by around 25 per cent for most apps, and as much as 140 per cent for games, which see a much larger and more consistent positive effect from becoming featured.

The figures come from a new study by analytics firm App Annie, which looked at over 3,000 instances of apps being featured on the iOS App Store across five different countries. While many apps were boosted by 500 per cent or more during their feature period, the median increase was only 80 per cent.

The impact of being featured is also decreasing over time, and much faster for games outside of apps, which dropped from an average boost of 80 per cent in H2 2013 to 25 per cent in H2 2015. Over the same period, games saw their boost drop from around 160 per cent down to 130 per cent.

"While user acquisition can consistently deliver thousands of consistent quality users, a prime featuring placement can drive hundreds of thousands of users in days, creating a compounding velocity and completely shifting the network and product trajectory of an app," said James Peng, head of mobile app acquisition for The Match Group.

Apps outside of games see the biggest effect from being featured in Japan and South Korea, where the median boost between June 2013 and March 2016 was over 55 per cent. With games, the impact in South Korea was even more pronounced, with featured games during the same time getting a median boost of almost 500 per cent, compared to just over 200 per cent in Brazil, which saw the second largest boosts for games.

In contrast, apps and games in the US were the least affected by being featured in percentage terms, perhaps reflecting the country's app market maturity and suggesting that marketers working in the US need more sophisticated and robust user acquisition strategies in place to ensure their apps find an audience.