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How does giving away an app for free temporarily affect ranking?

12-21-2009, 04:22 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
How does giving away an app for free temporarily affect ranking?

Hi all,

New to this forum and the App Store process. I had a question that I hope someone with experience can answer for me...

I currently have an app that's featured in the New/Noteworthy section and is in the top 25 for my category. I'm doing a decent amount of sales a day, but nothing major (~200). I was thinking of giving the app away for free for a short time. How will this affect the apps ranking? Should I expect any kind of bump in ranks and/or downloads? What happens when I go back to a paid app (do I retain my place in the top 25)?
12-21-2009, 04:38 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 754
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Quote:
Originally Posted by trangk View Post
Hi all,

New to this forum and the App Store process. I had a question that I hope someone with experience can answer for me...

I currently have an app that's featured in the New/Noteworthy section and is in the top 25 for my category. I'm doing a decent amount of sales a day, but nothing major (~200). I was thinking of giving the app away for free for a short time. How will this affect the apps ranking? Should I expect any kind of bump in ranks and/or downloads? What happens when I go back to a paid app (do I retain my place in the top 25)?
200 sales a day? be happy

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series

12-21-2009, 04:43 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobile1up View Post
200 sales a day? be happy
In addition to what mobile1up said (I absolutely agree with that too)

Do not change it to free now. You'll lose your paid ranking, and will NOT get it back when you switch back to paid. Worse, you'll be squandering your best bit of free advertising ever (the Apple feature) by giving away your app.

--- ChronoSoft ---
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12-21-2009, 04:46 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderData View Post
In addition to what mobile1up said (I absolutely agree with that too)

Do not change it to free now. You'll lose your paid ranking, and will NOT get it back when you switch back to paid. Worse, you'll be squandering your best bit of free advertising ever (the Apple feature) by giving away your app.
That's what I figured (losing the free advertising from the Apple feature). Don't get me wrong ... I'm happy with the current sales because it was way more than what I was expecting. But like any other indie developer, I'm chasing after those coveted top spots and it's been addicting watching the app rise in ranks
12-21-2009, 04:51 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
200 a day is very solid. I don't think I've had a week where I've averaged much more than 150, and that's certainly not most weeks!
12-21-2009, 08:18 PM
#6
Like others have said, 200 is pretty good.

Giving your app away for free is bad right now because you already have a lot of publicity from Apple. After a week or two, most apps drop back down once it's dropped off the N&N list.

You haven't said whether this is a game or app. If it's an app, it could stay on the charts for a very long time. Other developers have had bad experiences when they tried to raise the price. Also, lowering the price to shoot up the charts and then raising the price back up may not work either. This is just a warning in case you're thinking of messing with the price, because it's hard to get back on the charts once you leave it.
12-21-2009, 08:43 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
Also, don't drop the price while you are featured. If the sales start to fade out, you might consider it, but be careful.

I dropped the price of Charmed too early when we got featured, and I am certain that it cost me $$$. I should have waited until it peaked at $2.99 before considering to drop it to $1.99.
12-21-2009, 09:00 PM
#8
I wouldn't change anything at all until you are done being featured.

Don't change price, don't change categories and try not to change your app info unless it is something very minor (bragging about your upward momentum and position). Leave everything right where it is as the Feature itself does its magical thing.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
12-21-2009, 10:32 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies everyone! I've spent some more time on the forum reading through similar topics and everything points to "leave it alone"

PS: Flickitty -- I love your game!
12-22-2009, 08:32 AM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
This is a time when you should be pushing marketing to get up the charts!

Too many developers think their only options are to lower price, switch to free, generally just thinking of iTunes as their only marketing option.