Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hard Data on App Sales

TechCrunch has an excellent article on sales of iPhone apps. They were able to get actual sales numbers for a variety of apps, with a wide range of prices. The article is a a nice source of hard data in an area that's all too often filled with rumor and speculation. They got info on 124 different titles, and the results were interesting. Once you took off the top 10% of the most successful apps (likely to skew the results), you get average sales of about 44 units per day (totals of 11,625 for the titles studied), and 23% of apps sold less than 1,000 units from launch, with 56% of the apps selling less than 10,000 units, and 90% sold less than 100,000 units. On average developers made 15 times their development costs... but obviously things can go poorly more easily than well.

 Some apps had sales measuring in dozens or low hundreds. With 200,000 apps in the App Store, the odds of getting lost are pretty good. So you have to figure out some way out of the wilderness, which means marketing (unless you just get really lucky, or have an app that's so compelling and unusual the world will beat a path to your door).

My feeling is that the app market will continue to grow, both in users and in number of apps. Don't forget the already large app market for Android (50,000 apps), and how they are selling plenty of those devices these days; most iPhone apps should be easy to implement on Android as well. The difficulty lies in marketing, and in gauging your development effort to your expected sales. If you can put together an app in a few days, then there's almost no downside. But if it takes a teams several months to create, and costs $200,000 to build, then you'd certainly want to see significant sales in order to get a return on your investment. Bottom line: before you embark on your development effort, consider the expected sales and how you're going to market your app. Check out the competition. Don't even start unless you have a good expectation your app is sufficiently useful or fun, different or interesting, and you can market it well enough to pay back your development effort. Unless, that is, your app is itself a marketing tool for some other way in which you make money, like your magazine or your bank or some such. Or maybe just a way to get players into your MMO or other game... apps can be marketing tools in and of themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment