Data & Research

When it comes to app sales, the harder you cut the more revenue you'll make, reckons Distimo

Price needs to be halved to drive downloads

When it comes to app sales, the harder you cut the more revenue you'll make, reckons Distimo
It might be well over three years since the launch of the App Store, but that doesn't mean predicting consumer habits on the platform is getting any easier.

Indeed, one of the many talking points at the tables of this year's Mobile Games Forum in London was how slashing the price of an app or going free for a day no longer deliver the guaranteed boost in downloads it once offered.

Distimo's latest numbers suggest there are still cases where such strategies can pay off, though perhaps only if the developer is prepared to cut the price of their title hard, and if it's already been a strong performer.

On the up and up?

That's because, as with many Distimo reports, the stats are drawn from apps within the top 100 grossing in any category.

In the case of such releases, the firm's numbers conclude that, on the first day of the sale, revenue for an iPhone app will rise by an average of 41 percent. That rise drops to 22 percent when averaged out over the entire length of the sale.

For iPad, sales can have an even greater impact – at least initially – with day one revenue up by 52 percent. As a whole, however, the boost is more modest, with sale-long revenue rise coming in at 19 percent.

Interestingly, the trend flips on Android Market, where day one revenues jump by 7 percent, compared to a more healthy 22 percent rise for the entire length of the sale.

Cut hard and fast

Such figures are drawn from a wealth of apps, however, with some titles enjoying more luck than others.

"30 percent to 50 percent of the applications on sale experienced a decrease in revenue even though on average the revenue increased in all three stores for the total group of applications on sale," Distimo clarifies on its blog.

The key to success, the company claims, is to cut the price of the app in question by at least half.

"Our research found that it is important to offer a significant price reduction to actually earn more revenue when putting an application on sale," the firm adds.

"In general, we noticed that the optimum sales occurred when the price was cut in half or the application was offered in tier 1 – 99c - or tier 2 - $1.99."

Getting featured on the app store in question is another way to boost downloads, of course, though Distimo claims it provides more of a surge on Android Market.

Apps featured by Google jump an average of 65 places in the marketplace's ranks for a week long feature, beating out the App Store for both iPad and iPhone.

[source: Distimo]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.