Apple made a huge change to the iOS App Store with the launch of iOS 11, and, based on third-party analytics, it turns out it’s been a good thing for developers with apps that get featured.
The latest data from Sensor Tower, which was first reported by TechCrunch, indicates that featured apps within the new, redesigned iOS App Store are seeing huge increases in the number of downloads. According to the data, apps that are featured can see their download numbers jump up by hundreds of percentage points.
For those in the “Game of the Day” category, for instance, the median download numbers in the United States jumped up by 802%. And for the other primary featured category, “App of the Day”, the media download numbers jumped up by 685 percent.
“During this time, median U.S. iPhone downloads for apps that snagged the “Game of the Day” spot increased by 802 percent for the week following the feature, compared to the week prior to being featured.
“App of the Day” apps saw a boost of 685 percent.
Being featured in other ways — like in one of the new App Store Stories or in an App List — also drove downloads higher, by 222 percent and 240 percent, respectively.”
Sensor Tower’s data was compiled between September of 2017 (which is when iOS 11 and the new iOS App Store launched) and today’s date, April 20.
It’s not all good news, though, as it turns out that Apple is putting a bigger focus on giant companies like Starbucks, EA, and others, rather than independent developers and companies. As a result, these companies that already have a ton of brand awareness are getting the biggest boost from Apple in the featured department:
“It found that 13 of the top 15 featured publishers (by number of features) had at least one million U.S. iPhone downloads since the launch of the new App Store last September. It’s not surprising that Apple wants to highlight these publishers. Many of them, and particularly the game publishers, have multiple popular apps. So when their apps get an update or they have a new release, consumers pay attention.”
This is generally good news for developers, especially those who rely solely on the App Store for income. However, that last bit, with Apple putting a bigger focus on companies like EA and Starbucks, and not doing so much for independent developers, is pretty frustrating. I will say that I have seen smaller, indie developers featured in the past, but the lion’s share of featured apps that I’ve seen have definitely been from bigger studios and companies.