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Depressing Stats vs last year, how to halt the slide?

SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
Hey folks, so, like a lot of you I am sure, downloads have taken such a hammering over these last few months, I have no idea what happened, and am losing / have lost faith in how to halt the slide.
Some of my apps are literally 1/4 of what they were last year in terms of downloads, apps that got 4000+ downloads, now have 1000+ downloads a year, I know that doesn't seem much over a year, but there are several apps, apps that have been around ages, and have been regularly updated. I started back in 2010, and I believe 2013-2014 was a particularly good year for app development, and up until the middle of this year, it wasn't so bad either.

When I look at the graphs, it does point to the September changes that Apple made, they have all but nerfed me completely, I look at the app titles, if any that have longer than 50 characters, often the ones preceeding 50 characters do not have important keywords.

It's been a rollercoaster ride in this business that's for sure, but if things do not improve in a couple of months, i'll be bowing out, demotivated and destroyed basically! It's nice to look back and think of what you enjoyed during app development but it's so damn frustrating when the carpet is forever being pulled from underneath you, if you try to update the app , they knock you down anyway for losing ratings, it's a lose-lose situation.

I am pretty sure ever since they sped up review times, that downloads have been worse as well, maybe just a coincidence, or maybe it's just allowed more people to spam the store...

What do you do? Look at an app or game that has dropped since September, update it and hope for the best? Rinse and repeat? Is that the solution?

Advice/discussions welcome, we are all on this crazy ride together.

Replies

  • jhonkjjhonkj Posts: 144New Users @ @
    edited November 2016
    at this point, I wish it started in Sept, for me it was in April, from then on, I lost 20% a month, so besides the normal summer slow down, it was 10 times worse, I literally had zero sales in the US one day Sept. which had never happened in the 6 or 8 years of developing.. also Europe and the US switched, then I was getting more downloads in Europe for several random days, which has never happened in the 6 or 8 years.

    I also noticed that on the 1st of every month for the past year or so, it is like Apple flips a switch, on Oct 1st, suddenly a reversal, which continued for a month, Nov 1st, suddenly another reversal back... literally on that day. unfortunately since it is so many apps in the app store, you will be lucky to get one of those months per two years to be in your favor. (if that is what is happening)

    they appear to be randomly mixing the pot by suppressing apps, churning to see what bubbles up from the depths.

    I just released an app, on the second day, today, zero sales for all my other apps in the US. coincidence? maybe US has not reported yet, I think not, I think Apple is taking total reviews, and total downloads as a company. dividing it by the number of apps you have, and determining, oh this company sucks... look at how few reviews they have compared to last week, look how horrible this company is doing compared to yesterday, of course my new app has zero reviews, maybe fewer downloads, I can't tell, i've had zero sales IN THE US. but Apple appears to think it is normal for developers to pay for reviews, and the normal fake momentum that companies pay to get on launch. so if you want to screw yourself over, release like two or three honest apps on the same day :smile:

    want to do an interesting experiment. remove half of your apps from sale, the half with the fewest reviews. (which probably would be the fewest downloads too)

    i've conducted that experiment (more or less) about a year ago, it resulted in higher downloads. had the highest downloads i've ever had in April. ya those were the days :wink: long ago, and far away.

    if you want to be dumb like me, only have paid apps, because Apple believes paid apps should perform exactly like free apps. oh look at this company, it sucks, look at how few downloads it has compared to this other company with all free apps.

    hey, I can't explain how Apple would make such "challenged" moves, maybe they are operating perfectly, exactly how MSFT used to think, anybody remember MSFT :smiley: if one has a better way of explaining Apple's moves, I am all ears.
  • Crichton333Crichton333 Posts: 272Registered Users @ @
    Why not update and try different keywords ?

    "Smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast." -- iOS: Nebula Virtual Reality
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    Why not update and try different keywords ?

    With almost 2 million apps in the store, this is easier said than done.

    There are only so many keywords that will work with any given app, due to sheer numbers of apps in each genre, and of course... Apple Review deleting keywords that are not pertinent to your app.

    If I am seeing this wrong let me know. I would love to update a few of mine, but am not seeing a way out, given the above.
  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 260New Users @ @
    edited November 2016
    @jhonkj

    Over a year ago I proposed the idea that apple were considering an entire developer catalog for ranking individual apps, the consensus was that its nonsense.

    I did however setup a second account just in case, however I cant say if it helped or not.
  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 260New Users @ @
    Plus if we want to go down the conspiracy theory route I have some more!

    I think:

    1. A trust score is associated with your account that affects how reviewers asses your apps during "in review". I think this because apps on one account always get more thoroughly used during review than submissions on the other account. I also get more rejections on the untrusted account.

    2. Apple knows your likely download numbers based on the keywords and this affects the review process. My high download apps get rejected for silly reasons often whereas my extreme niche apps often only get opened and instantly approved.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    I've noticed a huge drop in sales the last 2 weeks. Anyone else seeing the same?
  • id256id256 Posts: 73New Users @
    edited November 2016
    dev666999 wrote: »
    I've noticed a huge drop in sales the last 2 weeks. Anyone else seeing the same?

    Me too. For some reason the Downloads/PageViews ratio decreased significantly.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    id256 wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    I've noticed a huge drop in sales the last 2 weeks. Anyone else seeing the same?

    Me too. For some reason the Downloads/PageViews ratio decreased significantly.

    Do you think it may be because of the new search... any keywords after the first 50 characters in the title, are ignored? That's the only obvious change that would affect our downloads. As for other reasons, Apple is not the most transparent company... :(
  • id256id256 Posts: 73New Users @
    I don't think, that it's my case, as by coincidence I updated my app at the day when they send the email, notifying about the future changes to the title length, so I had to shorten the title immediately. Since then there were better times, than last weeks, however I've been experimenting with keywords a lot, so probably that changed the picture.
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