It’s been an amazing week for apprupt, as we received some great coverage by TheNextWeb, ReadWriteWeb and the iphoneclub. Also, we have been invited to the iPhone Tech Talk in Hamburg – looking forward to see you all there!
Ap(p)art from that, these are other news that seemed important to us this last week:
Today is an important day for the mobile industry, especially for Apple and the iPhone. The iPhone has hit China – you can go and check out their App Store on iTunes already. This is very early days regarding the market (Mobilcrunch is unsure if anyone cares at all) as well as the device itself (its missing WiFi), but still there is reason to be excited.
At this point, there are about 710 million overall cellular subscribers in China, so even if just a fraction of them goes and buys an iPhone, it means a substantial increase in potential users to reach with your app. It is exciting to see how quickly a single iPhone developer can go international through the App Store. However, there are still many questions to be answered in this regard. Internationalization (language and, if possible, product features) and pricing are, among many others, challenges that a developer will certainly face. The same holds true for marketing your app in different nations.
Have you tried advertising your app through banners or textlinks? If so, did it pay off? What do you look at when putting up money up front to buy reach (hopefully resulting in downloads) for your app? If you think long term, you might also be taking the value of iPhone users “only” seeing your name or the name of your product into account. This means you might actually be satisfied with a fair CPM increasing your brand value and recognition because your banner or your message was “noticed” by a certain amount of people.
In reality, for the majority of you, having been noticed by a lot of people without a noticeable increase in downloads probably doesn’t cut it. You want downloads. You want a measurable increase in performance, right? Also, this performance increase should be affordable.
As an oversimplified way of looking at it, let’s say you are selling your app for 79 Cents and have no additional revenues generated through that particular app after it was downloaded. After Apple and taxes, your payout is approximately 49 Cents. Accordingly, without taking any other costs into account, your cost of customer acquisition should not be more than 49 Cents, right?
The news spread fairly quickly through the techblogs yesterday –100,000 apps have now been approved by Apple. Although this hasn’t been formally announced and nobody is really sure why approved is not the same as available (see Mobilecrunch), 100,000 apps is a pretty impressive number. Even more so considering the momentum behind this development – roughly a month ago 85,000 available apps were officially announced. Of course, everybody is wondering where this will lead to in the future – next month, next year, three or five years from now?
It is as interesting thought that app development seems to be becoming more attractive and less attractive at the same time, these days. While the number of app downloads is speeding up, new potential revenue streams are opening up to developers and iPhone market share (as well as smartphone market share overall) is driving higher and higher (we wonder what is going to happen once operator exclusivity ends, if it does), it is becoming increasingly difficult for an app to get the users attention and for a developer to make a profitable business out of developing apps.
We are excited today, because we received some awesome news coverage by TheNextWeb and ReadWriteWeb, which has also been quite positive on developer sign-ups so far.
We’d like to pick up a question that was raised in the comments over at ReadWriteWeb and is one that we think is pretty relevant in general.
How are we different from other existing analytics products?
We think it is fair to say that there are iPhone analytics providers out there, which (some of them) have been around for as long as the App Store and are obviously doing a very good job at what they aim to do. Without stretching this post to a few pages, we consider ourselves different in that we focus on a different side of the same medal. These two sides are marketing and product (oversimplified).
BusinessWeek has a small selection of apps on their site that have shown an impressive performance and brought in more than a million US-Dollars in revenues. These are all really well known apps, most of which (if not all) have been international supersellers.
While the post does not mention whether these are just the numbers for the US-market or overall, it still leaves us thinking, if the full revenue potential is reached for these apps. We’re guessing no.
What were your top news this week? No doubt, it has been an exciting one – (not only) because we launched our performance analytics for iPhone app marketing.
The impact of in-app purchase for free apps was widely discussed, numbers (or opinions?) on the future of mobile at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco were revealed and… well… Apple was sued – by Nokia.
Are you marketing your app? If so, what are you doing to get your sales off the ground? Write a press release? Twitter about it? Buy ad-impressions? Blog?
The list of possible things you could and can do to increase your sales performance is long but still appears somehow narrow.
No matter what you decide to do, one thing we know for sure is the big impact being listed in the overall and category rankings of the App Store can have on sales. This effect starts kicking in once you have entered the Top 100 of the respective list, as overall visibility and accessibility of your product increases. Of course, the higher you rise in the top lists, the more visibility and sales you gain.
So in our opinion it is of utmost importance for you to know not only when you have entered the top 100, but also how far you are away from entering it. Having an app ranked 105 or 405 makes a big difference in terms of how active you should get to increase your app sales – even if just for a day or two.
We just launched Performance Analytics, the first service of our apprupt Performance Marketing Suite this week and thought it would be a good time to tell you what we are all about.
Although just recently officially launched, we have been working on apprupt this entire year, together with many developers and other partners – there are many more things to come and we will announce these throughout the next months.
So far, these are the core problems that we observe and want to help solve, when looking at the iPhone app market and talking to developers:
The App Store is flooded with apps, many of which are junk.
Overall and category rankings have a massive impact on sales and attention received by iPhone users
Overall and category rankings do not at all reflect the best apps in the App Store
Apps have a very short lifetime, with high sales and usage (if at all) at the beginning of their lifespan only
There are many really good apps in the App Store that never get the attention they deserve
There are not many possibilities for app developers to market their app to their target group, without either a good network (PR) or a large marketing budget (which most developers do not have) or both
There really is no transparency as to which marketing channels are working and which are not, as developers have no data on customer acquisition costs and download conversions
Transparency is also a big issue for users (finding apps). As many of them use the ranking lists of the App Store to find apps and developers have little means to get to them otherwise, they miss out on many good products
Many developers struggle to make developing iPhone apps a profitable and sustainable business
The fast-increasing number of apps is amplifying the problems named above
We have just launched the first version of our apprupt Performance Analytics for iPhone apps and are looking forward to getting it out to developers. We are already working on further developing Performance Analytics and on additional products for iPhone apps!
If you are an iPhone developer, get in touch – we would love to hear from you!
These are very exciting times for the mobile industry and developers, so we want to use this blog to actively discuss recent developments of the mobile app market and, of course, supply you with news on apprupt. Stay tuned for more!