Just because an app may not be in the TOP 250, it still can have downloads, and therefore will generate revenue because of its engaged users
By Rômulo Gomes – CEO of Eyso
A few days ago, we read a study by Adjust titled “Birth, life and death of an app”about the increase in app store competition and, just like magic, the catchphrase “80% of all apps in the App Store are zombies” came into play. In addition, we even saw comments by ‘well versed’ app specialists going as far as stating that 80% of apps had never been downloaded. The report is quite interesting and it is very pertinent, but we feel the need to clarify certain misconceptions that it may have created. Let’s analyse its main points:
Concept of a ‘zombie app’ according to the article
“Zombie” apps are those that do not show up at least once a month in the TOP 250 of the App Store Category.
Concept of a ‘zombie app’ according to Eyso
Just because an app may not be in the TOP 250, it still can have downloads, and therefore will generate revenue because of its engaged users. One does not preclude the other. After all, we should remember that the download number metric is a vanity metric, and what truly matters is the app profitability and engagement. In our opinion, an app is ‘alive’ as long as it has engaged users.
Category and featured apps are not the only way to find an app
In this study, we must also take into account that they are disregarding that the app might show up on search terms in search engines in general. An error of means is evident and therefore we must consider that the study is incomplete. The app can have many downloads via organic search and start significantly showing up in the app store categories.
Apart from the app store search itself, we have to consider the alternative stores (Amazon), apps that promote other apps (Appsfire) and the publisher’s own distribution channels (website, social media in general, e-mail marketing, etc.).
Do not confuse apples with oranges: increased competitiveness is different from increased mortality
The App Store is growing every day, and it is obvious to all that competition is as well. With a larger number of competitors, it is normal that the apps that are obsolete or those that have not been upgraded in some time, would naturally ‘die’. Basic law of competition, nothing more.
Two bodies can’t occupy the same space at the same time
Sir Isaac Newton’s wise words have an echo here. In a category you can fit 750 apps (paid, free and grossing), but there are hundreds of thousands of apps in each category. So, it is what it is, it just doesn’t fit.
Data is very important, and its interpretation is the key to the success of your strategy.