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How many sales = MANY sales?!?

02-16-2010, 10:57 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
How many sales = MANY sales?!?

Hi guys!

I have just released my second app. It is a completely free game: iWillSurvive. Compared to my first one LabyMania, it has been EXTREMELY succesful. In one single day, iWillSurvive outperformed the free version of LabyMania that has been online for months! I am trying to figure out why...

That's why I am curius: How many downloads of a free game can be considered "a lot" - that is, enough to move up the lists, and have the ranking drive the sales...? I am not going to give away how many times iWillSurvive was pulled yesterday yet - let's have some opinions first

Also - do you know of any good ways to check rankings in other app stores - along with ratings and such...?

.... Amazing how big a difference between "free" and "almost nothing"!

- A
02-16-2010, 11:13 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: App Tech Studios, USA
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amygdala View Post
Hi guys!

I have just released my second app. It is a completely free game: iWillSurvive. Compared to my first one LabyMania, it has been EXTREMELY succesful. In one single day, iWillSurvive outperformed the free version of LabyMania that has been online for months! I am trying to figure out why...

That's why I am curius: How many downloads of a free game can be considered "a lot" - that is, enough to move up the lists, and have the ranking drive the sales...? I am not going to give away how many times iWillSurvive was pulled yesterday yet - let's have some opinions first

Also - do you know of any good ways to check rankings in other app stores - along with ratings and such...?

.... Amazing how big a difference between "free" and "almost nothing"!

- A
Stick Escape lite got up to 4th Top Free App on iTunes and it was downloading 60,000-80,000 a day in the US alone (this was last October). As far as rank tracking goes, I use MajicRank.
02-16-2010, 11:23 AM
#3
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Some data points:
You need ~800/day sales to crack the first page of free card games.
You need ~40/day sales to crack the first page of pay card games
These are just ballparks - I'd love to hear other samples.

You can model the relationship between ranking and sales as follows.
1. appeal - combines icon attractiveness, description, user reviews, and price into a percentage of eyeballs that will end up downloading that app.
2. saturation: what percentage of potential users have already seen (and either bought or passed over your app). Saturation increases when an app sells massive quantities, and decreases as new users buy ipods/iphones.
3. visibility - #eyeballs your app is currently getting each day. This is a function of current rank, visibility on new release lists, price change feeds, and external advertising.

Now, the key factor to dropping like a rock of floating to the top is understanding that visibility on top lists isn't a linear function of rank. The function is almost exponential, giving apps near the top tremendous visibility over apps further down. This gives a huge advantage to already top-ranked apps, that is difficult to overcome. This advantage will eventually go away when the ipod/iphone user base stops growing, and saturation takes over.

sales = visibility*appeal
sales increase your saturation, reducing visibility
and sales can also increase your rank, increasing visibility
user reviews affect your appeal factor

Depenging on where you are on the chart, you'll see sales hold steady, rise, or drop. The ranking-visibility relationship is currently so strong that the cream won't magically rise to the top, nor will crap automatically sink to the bottom. Most apps fairly quickly reach a steady state where the visibility/sales/saturation factors reach equillibrium. But that same app could also achieve equillibrium at a completely different chart position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amygdala View Post
Hi guys!

I have just released my second app. It is a completely free game: iWillSurvive. Compared to my first one LabyMania, it has been EXTREMELY succesful. In one single day, iWillSurvive outperformed the free version of LabyMania that has been online for months! I am trying to figure out why...

That's why I am curius: How many downloads of a free game can be considered "a lot" - that is, enough to move up the lists, and have the ranking drive the sales...? I am not going to give away how many times iWillSurvive was pulled yesterday yet - let's have some opinions first

Also - do you know of any good ways to check rankings in other app stores - along with ratings and such...?

.... Amazing how big a difference between "free" and "almost nothing"!

- A
02-16-2010, 01:43 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSpentYouth View Post
Stick Escape lite got up to 4th Top Free App on iTunes and it was downloading 60,000-80,000 a day in the US alone (this was last October). As far as rank tracking goes, I use MajicRank.
Wow... That's a lot. iWillSurvive needs a boost to reach that level, but it is not a completely different ballpark. Thanks for the hint on MajicRank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Some data points:
You can model the relationship between ranking and sales as follows.
[...]
Quite a bit of text there... It seems so obvious when reading it (again!). It is really not surprising that analytics and tools for such are becomming very popular among devs.

So - asuming that naming, icon, and description are set variables, and the only free variable are the external marketing that one can do. Which have you found most effective?
- I have tried promos. Bo bigie.
- I have tried implementing in-game social networking. Not really worth the effort.
- I have tried forum spamming. It drives a little but nowhere near enough considering the workload.

My latest undertaking is: cross-selling. That's why iWillSurvive is out there.

Thoughts?

- A