Posts Tagged ‘rankings’
Here is an interesting take on just who are the most influential indie Apple developers, using a tool for ranking people’s influence in their particular field, based on twitter and website stats.
As a result of my special association with him (yes, he’s my brother), I had the opportunity to apply it to my own field of endeavour, and I think it does indeed provide a valuable insight into who the influencers really are. Note that I’ve included myself in the list, not so much for vanity as for the sake of having a good control point. ;-)
Here is a snapshot of the rankings as at 11th March 2015. Note – As this is a graphical snapshot, the green buttons are inoperative – they normally would show you the twitter handle and website link used. I hope to replace this with a fully-functioning *live* version, soon.
Selection criteria I used for appearing on this list
1) Have developed successful Mac and/or iOS apps
2) Write publicly via twitter and/or blog/website about app development, app store and Apple
3) Be posting (only or mainly) as an independent developer i.e. have own website or blog
4) Reasonably prominent – anyone scoring too low in this ranking system may be dropped from the table, for the sake of expediency and avoiding overload
Please note – I have compiled an initial list based on my own conjecture about who was reasonably prominent in this field. If you have a suggestion about who else to add, please let me know via twitter @gpdawson. Note that the individual must have 1) a twitter account and 2) a website or blog for which they are the primary contributors. Generally, anyone with a company website with multiple contributors can’t realistically be included without distorting the results.
This is the latest installment tracking the progress of the Oz Weather iPhone app in the iTunes app store. (Part 7 installment here.)
Oz Weather v1.0 arrived in the app store on 1st November 2008 (now at v1.7.1), so I now have a full years of stats to share with you.
- Total paid app downloads: 64,500 (176 per day on average)
- Net app revenue: AUD$99,600 (US$89,700) – net of 30% Apple share and 10% Australian GST
- Average User Rating: 4 stars – from 1187 ratings of all versions
- Average ranking: 17.5 – in Australian app store
[Stop Press – AUD$100k sales were reached on 3rd Nov 2009]
The following graph shows a complete history of one year’s worth of daily sales records.
The associated Australian overall paid apps ranking is as follows:
So there have been a number of peaks and troughs. The single biggest factor causing those peaks and troughs appears to have been Apple promotions in the Hot / New / Staff Pick lists. But this has worked both ways – the biggest troughs have occurred when Apple has promoted competing apps.
The second biggest factor has been the weather itself. In Australia it seems that people are more interested in summer weather than they are in winter weather, hence causing an underlying annual cycle which peaks in summer (Dec/Jan/Feb) and troughs in winter (Jun/Jul/Aug).
Some individual weather events (eg. extreme heat waves, major rainfall events) seem to account for much shorter term peaks – especially noticeable around Feb 2009 when a major app update was also released.
Its also worth noting that during the course of the year the number of competitors has grown substantially. No doubt other developers have noticed how well weather apps seem to do in the app store ecosystem, and I would guess that my blogging about such attractive sales figures has probably encouraged some of the new ones into the game too. ;-) However, most of the newer competitors have failed to get any significant visibility, at least so far, and overall I don’t regret my decision to be transparent and open with my sales figures. I am always delighted to read about the inside stories of other app developers’ successes and failures, and hope that my own story has been interesting and useful to others too.
There have been quite a few news and blog mentions of Sun Seeker since it’s release (described in this previous post), which has created some good interest in it, and yes, some good app sales too. But a common reaction of press reviewers seems to be to question what you would use it for. I have to say, frankly, that I am a little surprised. How could you not immediately understand how useful this app really is?!
But then it dawned on me (whoops, no pun intended!). We are not all born the same. Some of us do seem to have that extra geek gene, which means that some things which seem really obvious to us are pretty much obscure to others. And vice-versa of course, as I know all too well, often to my own detriment. ;-)
Thankfully, however, some of those who bought the app do already “get it”, and a few kind souls have left some great comments explaining exactly how they find it useful – and some of these are in ways that I had not even imagined myself. As these comments are spread around different countries’ app stores, I thought it might help to list a few of them here. I have added highlighting to various words and phrases to emphasize the types of usage people are using it for.
I bought this app to track the suns position on the cockpit window during my trips as an airline pilot, this app works better than I had hoped. I now use this app as a situational awareness tool, keeping track of possible solar glare on final approaches to particular runways. It works awsome in the virtual 3d view because of the slaved compass I can find the suns relative position with reference to any runway. This is really a great app. (Lwm5 – USA)
Fantastic – shows the true utility of augmented reality apps. As an architect I have been doing solar analysis of sites by printing solar charts, taking pictures and noting bearings & altitue of horizon (trees mnts structures etc) – then combining info in Photoshop. With this app it’s as easy as pointing the camera to get a sense of the solar access of a site at different times of day / year. (smh_iTunes – USA)
I work in the Solar industry and this works exceptionally well for aligning solar arrays and showing customers the path of the sun. GREAT app :-) (Clear James – Australia)
The perfect app for DOP’s Gaffers and anyone that needs to know where the sun path will be and where you will lose the sun behind a building etc. The augmented reality is flawless and helps anyone plan out a photo/film shoot to the hour. A steal at this price. (Metromadman – Australia)
It might also be worth noting that, currently, the best sales of this app are being made in… Japan. How fitting, given that it is sometimes know as the land of the rising sun!
Currently Sun Seeker is #6 in paid apps in the Navigation category, there. I’m guessing that this might have something to do with the fact that Japanese are known for being early and enthusiastic adopters of new technology. This helps in two ways – firstly because there might be a strong uptake of the latest 3GS iPhone model (required for this app), and secondly because the area of augmented reality is so new to the consumer space, and offers exciting new ways of using the technology, which may not be immediately obvious to those more reluctant to embrace unfamiliar technology.
Now why can’t Westerners be more like the Japanese?
So until next time – Konichiwa! :-)
This is the latest installment tracking the progress of the Oz Weather iPhone app in the iTunes app store. (Part 6 installment here.)
The latest stats, to 4th August 2009:
* Total app downloads: 48,600
* Net app revenue: AUD$73,800 (US$59,000) – net of 30% Apple share and 10% Australian GST
* Average User Rating: 4 stars – from 885 ratings of all versions
The following graph shows a complete history of more than 8 months of daily sales records, since launch on Nov 1st 2008.
The associated Australian overall paid apps ranking is as follows:
I already explained the cause of the great sales dip in June in the previous post, but the other feature that stands out here is how the ranking in the latter half of the graph has been declining despite a fairly constant average base level of sales (excepting June). The obvious explanation for this divergence is that the total number of all apps being bought is gradually increasing with time as the number of iPhones/iPods in Australia has increased. Recent estimates by AdMob put the total number of iPhones in Australia at around 750,000 and iPod Touch at 350,000 – making a combined total of 1.1 million devices on which Oz Weather could be installed. This would mean that Oz Weather has been purchased by about 4.4% of Australian device owners.
This might seem to leave room for plenty more sales, but others have suggested that 3% is a high ownership rate for other popular apps such as “Flight Control”, so maybe we’re already pushing the boundaries!
This is the latest installment tracking the progress of the Oz Weather iPhone app in the iTunes app store. (Part 5 installment here.)
The latest stats, to 3rd July 2009:
* Total app downloads: 44,800
* Net app revenue: AUD$68,000 (US$54,400) – net of 30% Apple share and 10% Australian GST
* Average User Rating: 4.5 stars – from 6 ratings of latest version, 4 stars – from 790 ratings of all versions
The following graph shows a complete history of more than 7 months of daily sales records, since launch on Nov 1st 2008.
The associated Australian overall paid apps ranking is as follows:
The most immediately noticeable feature of these graphs is the big “crash” in sales and rankings starting at the beginning of June, and then the sudden recovery on 26th June. What could have caused these big changes in fortune?
- The Fall – At the beginning of June, Oz Weather’s main head-to-head competitor (Pocket Weather AU) was given “Staff Favourite” status in the Australian app store, which meant that it appeared on the front page of the app store with that endorsement. So at the same time that Oz Weather sales and rankings tanked, Pocket Weather sales and rankings took off. While Oz Weather reached its nadir at 68th ranking, Pocket Weather peaked at around 29th ranking.
- The Recovery – On 26th June, Apple launched the iPhone 3GS in Australia. Oz Weather sales tripled overnight and its ranking jumped from 60th to 20th, while Pocket Weather’s ranking remained much steadier, hovering around the 40th to 50th ranking range. My surmise as to what caused this is Apple’s in-shop promotions which include Oz Weather as one of the featured apps, and a demo version is pre-installed on some of their iPhone shop demo units. This means that new iPhone customers who visit an Apple store to make their purchase get well exposed to Oz Weather.
Interestingly, the cause of both the fall and the recovery are apparently Apple’s own promotional mechanisms, over which individual developers have (as far as I am aware) absolutely no control. Either you are picked or you are not!
Overall, of course, Apple’s influence has been much more of a benefit than a hindrance to Oz Weather, and I am of course very grateful for that. And I certainly do not begrudge the fact the Pocket Weather was given a staff favourite pick by Apple. Like me, they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their app, and deserve their day in the sun as much as anyone else.
The latest stats:
- Total app downloads: 40,000
- Net app revenue: AUD$60,800 (US$46,800) – net of 30% Apple share and 10% Australian GST
- Average User Rating: 4.5 stars – from 105 ratings of latest version
The following graph shows a complete history of more than 6 months of daily sales records, since launch on Nov 1st 2008.
It is apparent that, although sales have declined quite a lot from their peak in early Feb 2008, they now appear to have leveled out over the past two months at an average of around 125 sales per day.
The app ranking (amongst all paid apps in the Australian iTunes store), however, is a little more volatile.
If you look at the long term trend this might be interpreted as showing a ongoing decline. However, if just the last two months are taken in isolation, then it is also possible to interpret it as having leveled off at around the #20 ranking mark, albeit with greater volatility – and this seems to be given some support from the actual sales numbers. In fact greater volatility is always to be expected at a lower ranking, due to a crowding of other apps with similar sales levels, such that only small variations in sales numbers can make much larger changes to their relative rankings.
Also of significant interest may be the fact that Apple has actively included Oz Weather in their advertising and promotions. These have included:
- Icon and app description featured in the Sydney Apple Store on mural advertising display
- Icon and app description featured in the Sydney Apple Store in “Lifestyle” app plaques placed around iPhone/iPod sales areas
- Demo version of app is included on some demo iPhone/iPod devices in the Sydney Apple Store
- Icon and app description featured in full page national and local newspapers (Australian, Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age)
- Icon appears in some of Apple’s iPhone television advertisements
Some of these promotions have been ongoing for a couple of months (Apple Store), and others are more sporadic (TV and newspapers ads). However, I have been unable to spot any significant correlation between the timing of these promotions and changes to app sales figures. Given that sales levels appear to have stabilised, if there is any effect from these promotions, it suggests that the effect may been to prevent a further falloff in sales, rather than actually increasing them.
Of course there is still the possibility of a seasonal effect that I referred to in an earlier post, and perhaps when more severe winter weather sets in sales levels could increase again. In fact the sales of other weather apps appear to have suffered a similar decline in rankings to Oz Weather,which would be in line with this hypothesis, but on the other hand it may also simply be reflecting the huge increase in the number of apps available (four times more than when Oz Weather launched), or even a market saturation of weather apps. If estimates of the number of iPhones in Australia are accurate, then Oz Weather is already installed on 10% of them. It might be hard to get a better market penetration than that, for a paid app!
As usual, I’ll report back again with further information when time permits.
This post provides an update to the progress of Oz Weather in the Australian app store.
First, here are some of the most recent milestones, highlights and points of interest.
- Total app downloads: 34,800
- Net app revenue: AUD$52,500 (US$37,000)
- Highest paid app ranking: #1 (for 12 consecutive days)
- Lowest paid app ranking: #17 (excluding app store technical glitch)
- Average paid app ranking: #6 (over app lifetime)
- Upgrade uptake half-life: 5 days (average time for 50% of existing users to update to new versions)
- Total weather queries served: 3.8 million
- Split between iPhone / iPod Touch user base: 89% / 11%
And here is the complete history of daily sales to date (ie. from 1st November 2008 to end of first week of April 2009).
I have listed some probable causes for some of the ups and downs in my previous posts, but the newest “feature” here is what looks like a downward trend since the peaks of early February, although the last 20 days or so could be showing a leveling off – perhaps to some kind of base sales level around 100 to 150 sales per day. This is lower than the figure of 150 to 200 I had suggested in an earlier post, but the correlation between daily sales and weather queries per day seems to have become even clearer, as evidenced by the following updated graph.
If you compare this graph with the earlier version from a month ago, you will see that the more recent, lower level of daily sales on the leftmost part of the graph correlate well with decreased level of app usage by existing customers – which was down to about 0.75 queries per day per app in some cases.
This suggests two possibilities to me
- Long term users may be experiencing app fatigue, overload or dilution, and are no longer using older apps as much as they used to.
- During this inter-seasonal period with less weather extremes, the weather is of less interest to people in general, and hence existing app owners use the app less, and new iPhone owners are less likely to want to buy a copy.
It is worth noting that sales of other Australian weather apps appear to have experienced broadly similar trends to those of Oz Weather, as evidenced by their rankings which have broadly followed the movements of Oz Weather’s own rankings. Therefore it seems that competitive factors are not a significant factor here.
Based on the evidence to hand, I suspect that the issue of less interesting weather is the most significant one. If this is indeed so, then sales can be expected to increase again when bouts of extreme winter weather start to hit Australia.
So that is my hypothesis, and I will report back later with further data which may support or refute it.