Impact of Apps being featured by App Stores [Waze Case Study]

Apple App Store Feature

Apple App Store Feature

The Holy Grail of App marketing is still getting featured on Apple’s own App Store. All new products get a few days in the marketing sunshine that is the “New and Noteworthy” section of iTunes. And once that period is over your app’s sales can sink like a rather heavy stone in a deep dark pool, no matter how good or bad your product is. And that is primarily because you are then lost in a rather archaic search engine with another 250,000+ products all competing for attention.

On the other hand you can be deemed by Apple (or Android, or Ovi) to have put enough polish and “technical excellence” into your product that they may ask you to spruce up a few things and get ready to be featured in the App Store.

Waze has today released some figures for their cross platform traffic related social networking app which shows the relative effect that being featured in the Android, Apple or Ovi stores has had on their number of users. Waze describes itself as providing “Real-time maps and traffic information based on the wisdom of the crowd”. So it’s kind of like Foursquare for drivers!

There are a few things that we can glean from Waze’s figures:

Firstly their app is free, which has a massive bearing on the number of downloads they will receive. It’s also well presented and in vogue as its a social networking product.

Being featured on any of the App Stores results in a marked increase in app sales, or user registrations. We are talking about increases in the thousands of users, or unit sales.

Being featured on Apple’s App Store results in a larger percentage increase in sales than any other App Store. Not that surprising when you consider how many more customers Apple’s App Store attracts on a daily basis. And how many devices they sell each and every day globally. But an increase of over 200% when compared to just over 100% for the Android or Ovi App Stores is still a big difference.

impact feature appstores

There are of course other ways to succeed with your app. Like great marketing, or producing a product which simply captures enough people’s imagination to make it a break out success in its own right. Or you can receive great reviews from sites like Touch Reviews. But being featured by Apple is certainly still one of the most rewarding and potentially lucrative avenues for developers.

Whilst being featured in one of the other App Stores is not as potentially rewarding as being on Apple’s featured list, it is certainly not to be sniffed at. And right now may be a slightly more attainable target for some developers.

In some ways being featured in any App Store is a little bit of a chicken and egg situation. You are only likely to get featured if you are considered to have a quality product and you are already experiencing good sales.

So putting the figures, as interesting as they are, to one side for a moment the moral of this story is still, and always will be, to produce the best product, presented as professionally as you possibly can, and market the hell out of it!

Do you buy Apps based on recommendations from Apple, Ovi or Android Stores? Or rely on other methods to make your purchasing decisions? Like our reviews? Let us know in the comments…

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8 Comments on “Impact of Apps being featured by App Stores [Waze Case Study]”

  1. bookDeveloper

    Can you explain how every app gets its few days in the sun in front page of iTunes Apps “New And Noteworthy”? If 500-600 apps per day are uploaded, and each new app gets featured for about a week, it would take years for each app to get featured in just in the original 500-600, with decades more for each further day. I was told each app gets it appearance in the “newly uploaded” section, which constantly gets pushed down as more apps are uploaded, so you basically get a few hours being featured before heading into oblivion. That makes more sense for 500-600 a day or more. I am not trying to be insulting, just want to understand your point. So far I have uploaded 2 apps and both were featured in the New And Noteworthy for a week each of the first week they were uploaded, then moved into “whats hot” for a week each, and I was told this was quite rare.

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  3. Anonymous

    “All new products get a few days in the marketing sunshine that is the “New and Noteworthy” section of iTunes” – IT IS NOT TRUE!!!.
    Only few selected apps are there (about 10 new apps per week). Sometimes they put there apps released ie. 1 year ago.

  4. Anonymous

    “All new products get a few days in the marketing sunshine that is the “New and Noteworthy” section of iTunes” – IT IS NOT TRUE!!!.
    Only few selected apps are there (about 10 new apps per week). Sometimes they put there apps released ie. 1 year ago.

    1. Anonymous

      Last time I checked it was. And when only 50 or 100 apps were uploaded per day to the App Store it was easy to verify.

      Nowadays Apple are pushing through about 500 – 600 apps per day. And the apps rotate. So the chances of catching yours, or any specific one there when you happen to look is quite slim.

      1. Anonymous

        “In summary, all new apps get a period of time when they are on the front page to some degree, as well as at the top of the most recent apps listings.”

        Some days there are about 1000 new apps! I think only 10-20 of them will be displayed on front page. Most recent app listing does not increase sales significantly.

        1. Anonymous

          I’d be interested to see the source for your figures. The average per day at the moment AFAIK is 500 – 600. Around new product launches in the last 12 months it has jumped periodically to around 850 – 900 per day.

          And exactly as I said Apple rotates them.
          As for first day sales I also have to disagree. The sales in the first few days of an app are often 100s of times higher than in the following days and weeks – unless an app is featured by Apple or is a breakout success.

          1. Anonymous

            Yes, it can be 500-600-900. It is not a big difference ;)
            Apple changes icons in “New and noteworthy” section usually once a week. They take out usually about 10 icons, and put new 10 icons.

            Typic app (not very good, not very bad, about $1.99) can have about 30-50 sales in the first day. Next days this number is decreasing…

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