- Apple's App Store redesign from September 2017 has led to app download boosts of up to 800%, according to data from Sensor Tower. Downloads for iPhone apps featured as Game of the Day jumped an average of 800% from the week prior, while featured Apps of the Day saw rates rise 685% to 16,800 weekly downloads.
- Apps in Stories and Lists, content curated by the App Store's editorial team, experienced median download growth of about 200%, the study found.
- The most frequently featured publishers were game makers like Electronic Arts and Warner Bros., snagging the top four spots of popular publishers and representing 10 of the top 15.
The redesigned App Store aimed to boost discovery and highlight a wider range of apps that weren't seen in rankings of top downloads by offering recommendations and lists curated by human editors, including daily features like "App of the Day" and "Game of the Day." Now, the platform includes additional content instead of offering solely app collections and top charts to make it easier for users to find apps and boost downloads for developers. As Sensor Tower's data show, being featured as Game or App of the Day can be a major coup for developers.
That's especially true for smaller companies that might not have the resources to promote their apps through paid content or other cost-intensive user acquisition strategies. These smaller publishers generally don't have an established user base that can be leveraged for retargeting. Sensor Tower found that 29% of featured publishers had fewer than 10,000 downloads on iPhones during its six-month study. Big publishers are more likely to be featured more often, though small publishers have more to gain from being featured, per Sensor Tower.
In this study, Sensor Tower found that game makers are the most frequently featured publishers in Apple's App Store, which is unsurprising as games made up 67% of all U.S. App Store downloads in 2017.
Apple last year introduced the biggest redesign to its popular App Store since introducing the service in 2008. More than 2 million apps are now available for download from the online store, making it increasingly difficult to get noticed without a big promotional budget or the slim possibility of going viral as iPhone users share the app with their friends.