The Effects of Getting an App Featured in the App Store

Yesterday we published a report from Distimo that revealed the details behind the effects of putting an app on sale, including the best discount to offer and just how much extra cash a sale can net developers.

Putting an app on sale is just one of the ways that developers can increase revenue. Getting an app featured in the App Store or the Android Market is also a great way to get some extra recognition, which, in turn, results in more purchases and more money.

Distimo took a look at the impact that being featured had on apps that were already in the top 100 most popular applications, which is basically a prerequisite to making it into Apple’s picks. When one of these apps was featured, it had an average gain of 27 ranks in the iPad App Store, 15 ranks in the iPhone App Store, and a staggering 42 ranks in the Android Market during the first three days.

On average, 17 percent of apps in the iPad App Store gained 50 or more ranks, and 35 percent gained between 25 and 49 ranks. The numbers in the iPhone App Store were slightly lower, with 11 percent gaining 50 or more ranks and 24 percent gaining between 25 and 49 ranks. The featured system in the Android Marketplace has an even greater impact on app visibility, with 26 percent of apps gaining 50 or more ranks and 39 percent gaining 25 to 49 ranks.

After the apps had been featured for seven days (the standard amount of time an app is in the featured list) the rank gains remained about constant, with a slight gain in the Android Market of 65 ranks.

Even when apps were no longer in the featured list, there were still significant effects. Five days after the featured period ended, the ranking gain was 145 percent in the App Store for iPad, 75 percent in the App Store for iPhone, and 828 percent in the Android Market.

Naturally, as with app sales, these are averages. Some apps fared even better in the rankings after being featured, and some experienced no change at all. Apps that were featured but not in the top 100 were not studied, because it wasn’t possible to determine the gain in ranks.

Ranking number is also important, as a jump from 10 to 5 means a huge increase in downloads, while a jump from 50 to 45 might not have as great of an impact. The graph below shows relative rank changes, and a rank change from three to two is shown as an increase of 50 percent while a rank change of 50 to 25 is a rank change of 100 percent.

The graph shows that half of the featured apps in the Android Market had an increase of more than 100 percent. More than one third of the featured apps in the iPad App Store gained more than 200 percent. Increases over seven days were as follows: 252 percent for the iPad App Store, 172 percent in the Android Market, and 137 percent in the iPhone App Store.

The results show that while it is significantly more beneficial to be featured in the Android Market, getting featured in Apple’s App Stores can also result in a huge increase in app recognition.

Just how does a developer or publisher get an app featured? While devs can submit applications, the key to getting an app featured is to have an app with a great design, a solid interface, and an inherent wow factor.

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