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iTunes Analytics download issue

ToumakToumak New YorkPosts: 3New Users Noob
Hi,

This isn’t a technical question but I’d like to know if this happens to other developers.

Recently some of my apps had massive and sudden download spikes, where downloads went from a few units per day on average to 10,000/50,000/100,000 in just one day, and then back to a few units per day.

These downloads show in iTunes Analytics but there is no additional app opens. So I think they’re either fake downloads or there’s some issue with iTunes Analytics. I contacted Apple support about this but they don’t acknowledge the problem.

Did this ever happen to anyone else?

Thanks,
Tom
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Replies

  • vboviovbovio Posts: 431Registered Users @ @
    Something similar happened to one of my apps 2 weeks ago, from 3-4 downloads to 20k in 1 day, then back to normal, the downloads came from China.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    Of course, those downloads are never paid apps. Pity... ;)
  • rglrgl ScotlandPosts: 13New Users *
    It used to be businesses or educational institutions would bulk purchase free apps if someone within their organisation requested something be made available through their internal MDM server (say for a team or a class). For the person processing these orders, it makes no sense to 'purchase' the rights to download 30 if someone else is potentially going to come along a week or two later and request the same thing. So when a free app request came in, they would just assume that everyone in that institution may need it, so they block order 10,000, 20,000 etc in one go. But that number are never actually downloaded.

    Now it used to be that these downloads were either tagged with an EDU promo code, or were marked as being purchased on a desktop computer, so you could tell that this is what is happening. For the last few weeks, people have been seeing these transactions come through NOT marked as desktop nor EDU, but in my case as a huge order 'made' on iPhones.

    I'm guessing these are purchases for some institution's MDM server, but Apple's reporting is no longer correct, or they've simply changed how they handle this without telling any of us. (they'd never do that, would they?!)

    There's a thread on this topic over on the Apple Dev Forums. And another one on reddit.
  • ToumakToumak New YorkPosts: 3New Users Noob
    Thank you all for your replies.

    @vbovio - The downloads came from China for me too. This makes me even more suspicious.

    @rgl – When I contacted Apple support about this, they also mentioned the Volume Purchase Program. Quote: “If you're seeing a large increase in unit downloads, we recommend downloading your report from the Reports page of Sales and Trends. The reports will show you if your app has been downloaded through the Volume Purchase Program by an educational or other large institution.”

    However, I did download the report and there was no mention of the Volume Purchase Program. When I told this to Apple support, they only replied that everything is working correctly and they’re unable to share further details.

    I doubt that the Volume Purchase Program is responsible for my download peaks, notably because I make casino games and I can’t think of an organization that would need to download this type of games en masse.

    And since I’m apparently not the only one, there must be something else going on…
  • vboviovbovio Posts: 431Registered Users @ @
    @Toumak interesting, my game is casino-related too (poker).
  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 260New Users @ @
    I see this often, and they have never converted into real user for me, they always show as desktop.
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