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Is the App Store full? Any chance for Indie Developers any more?

mraalexmraalex Posts: 38Registered Users @
When I released an app in the past it got noticed by itself in the app store and downloads went above 1000 per day for free apps. Nowadays if I release an app it does not get noticed at all. Marketing techniques to get installs start at $1 per install, this would mean 1000 $ for a day!

Is the App Store full? Is there any chance left for Indie Developers?

I am in this business now for over 5 years and I have quiet some experience on what is a good app and how to market it. If you read a 20 tips for successful app marketing I could mark almost every point on it, like good icon, good title, unique idea, sumission to review sites, press releases, etc.

I just spend $400 for marketing and got almost no result.

My feeling is that unless you already have many app customers there is no way to get into the charts any more. And even worse, not even getting noticed by keywords, because all of them are already occupied.

Can any Indie Developer tell a recent success story?

Replies

  • apppicker.comapppicker.com Posts: 452Registered Users @ @
    It's not full but certainly very crowded and needs a clear out.

    The dynamics have changed considerably over the last 5 years and it's almost true that, as Edison supposedly said, "All than can be invented has been invented", but as before, not 100% true. Constant updates in Apple software allow for constant creativity and it's there that the market should be exploited.

    Competition is now so intense that realistically, your business model for a free app should factor in a user acquisition cost of approximately $1 per download, and you should ensure that the app is of such quality that it enjoys a high retention rate to benefit from usage.

    Indie developers must also be good marketeers and good analysts to optimize the ROI and cut any inefficient marketing methods in order to succeed,, something not required 5 years ago to such an extent.

    After $400 spend, you should have gotten 200-800 downlooads, depending on the niche of your app along with some lasting exposure for general awareness.

    Ranking in keywords however, will take longer as you are competing with incumbent apps and you need to displace them. It can be done but the factors will include number of downloads, reviews, relevancy, and whatever Apple is currently deciding is important.
    apppicker.com top 10 App review site where developers can post videos, place promo codes and announce apps on sale and gone free.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,580New Users @ @ @ @ @
    edited July 2015
    It's not full but certainly very crowded and needs a clear out.

    The dynamics have changed considerably over the last 5 years and it's almost true that, as Edison supposedly said, "All than can be invented has been invented", but as before, not 100% true. Constant updates in Apple software allow for constant creativity and it's there that the market should be exploited.

    Competition is now so intense that realistically, your business model for a free app should factor in a user acquisition cost of approximately $1 per download, and you should ensure that the app is of such quality that it enjoys a high retention rate to benefit from usage.

    Indie developers must also be good marketeers and good analysts to optimize the ROI and cut any inefficient marketing methods in order to succeed,, something not required 5 years ago to such an extent.

    After $400 spend, you should have gotten 200-800 downlooads, depending on the niche of your app along with some lasting exposure for general awareness.

    Ranking in keywords however, will take longer as you are competing with incumbent apps and you need to displace them. It can be done but the factors will include number of downloads, reviews, relevancy, and whatever Apple is currently deciding is important.

    I suspect his app is free?

    He will have to spend a lot more than $400 to drive it up and get sustained downloads. Even if he ranks on the charts, he will have to spend money to stay ranked, unless his app becomes very popular by word of mouth, or he already has a loyal following... a following that looks for new apps by him, and will download them quickly, giving him ranking.

    Without that, the OP will continue to get the dismal results he gets now.
  • apppicker.comapppicker.com Posts: 452Registered Users @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    It's not full but certainly very crowded and needs a clear out.

    The dynamics have changed considerably over the last 5 years and it's almost true that, as Edison supposedly said, "All than can be invented has been invented", but as before, not 100% true. Constant updates in Apple software allow for constant creativity and it's there that the market should be exploited.

    Competition is now so intense that realistically, your business model for a free app should factor in a user acquisition cost of approximately $1 per download, and you should ensure that the app is of such quality that it enjoys a high retention rate to benefit from usage.

    Indie developers must also be good marketeers and good analysts to optimize the ROI and cut any inefficient marketing methods in order to succeed,, something not required 5 years ago to such an extent.

    After $400 spend, you should have gotten 200-800 downlooads, depending on the niche of your app along with some lasting exposure for general awareness.

    Ranking in keywords however, will take longer as you are competing with incumbent apps and you need to displace them. It can be done but the factors will include number of downloads, reviews, relevancy, and whatever Apple is currently deciding is important.

    I suspect his app is free?

    He will have to spend a lot more than $400 to drive it up and get sustained downloads. Even if he ranks on the charts, he will have to spend money to stay ranked, unless his app becomes very popular by word of mouth, or he already has a loyal following... a following that looks for new apps by him, and will download them quickly, giving him ranking.

    Without that, the OP will continue to get the dismal results he gets now.

    I too suspect it is a free app based on the inference in the question. I of course don't think $400 will get any app a "ranking" position as 200-400 downloads ranks for nothing now or even 5 years ago.

    The limits of free promotion are bounded by the amount of methods used and even doing all 20 tips can only get you so far. Even successful advertising on Facebook is a function of speed and cost, with the more downloads wanted, the higher per download the cost, due to the competition for that retail space. Because of this, I feel even a free app requires a built in cost factor of $1 per download to become successful and that too requires a significant budget.

    I reiterate that I feel creativity is where the future should be for indie developers and 2 recent examples that delighted me when we were asked to review them are http://www.apppicker.com/reviews/24995/omni-text-message-scheduler-app-review which allows you to schedule texts to be sent at a future time. For me, that's just brilliant and deserves to be hugely successful. Another is a really creative take on chess http://www.apppicker.com/reviews/25278/dead-mans-chess-app-review by a one man team who, to me, epitomizes indie creativity.



    apppicker.com top 10 App review site where developers can post videos, place promo codes and announce apps on sale and gone free.
  • tomgood887tomgood887 Posts: 126New Users @ @
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.
  • mraalexmraalex Posts: 38Registered Users @
    edited July 2015
    The app is free and has some advertisement inside. It is a quiz app similar to QuizClash. You can play with more than two people.

    http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1002409163

    Currently I have no clue how to make any money with new apps!
    Post edited by mraalex on
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,580New Users @ @ @ @ @
    edited July 2015
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.


    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    If I interpret Tom's post correctly...

    At $500 per day, that's 28 x $500 = $14,000 per month from one app. I'd say he's doing quite well. But even if not from one app, it's still a nice chunk of change for an Indie.

    And you're giving him unsolicited advice?...LOL.

    He certainly does not need it, nor was he asking for it. ;)

  • apppicker.comapppicker.com Posts: 452Registered Users @ @
    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.
    I love statistics so prepared to be bored))

    Every developer needs to become acquainted with ROI ( return on investment), be it money or effort, and steering back to the OP's basic question, I feel there is always room for new entrants in to the marketplace, presuming their product is better, or at least marketed better than existing apps.

    We constantly monitor the numbers on our site, and to compare the 10% rate quoted above, I can give you some statistics. On average,11.4% of readers of a review for a free app then download it, with 17.5% being the figure for games and entertainment. These figures are an average with more positive reviews achieving higher numbers.

    My point in quoting these is that there are many ways to promote your app, and the 20 tips you refer to are just the tip of the iceberg and, having launched your app, you should now switch in to "promotion" mode. It's time consuming if you propose doing it yourself, but should pay off in the long run.

    apppicker.com top 10 App review site where developers can post videos, place promo codes and announce apps on sale and gone free.
  • tomgood887tomgood887 Posts: 126New Users @ @
    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    from both iap and ads
    I do not want to raise up the iap price.
  • tomgood887tomgood887 Posts: 126New Users @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.


    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    If I interpret Tom's post correctly...

    At $500 per day, that's 28 x $500 = $14,000 per month from one app. I'd say he's doing quite well. But even if not from one app, it's still a nice chunk of change for an Indie.

    And you're giving him unsolicited advice?...LOL.

    He certainly does not need it, nor was he asking for it. ;)

    but I actually is asking is there any potential to promote it.
    eg. use $1 to earn $2
  • apppicker.comapppicker.com Posts: 452Registered Users @ @
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.


    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    If I interpret Tom's post correctly...

    At $500 per day, that's 28 x $500 = $14,000 per month from one app. I'd say he's doing quite well. But even if not from one app, it's still a nice chunk of change for an Indie.

    And you're giving him unsolicited advice?...LOL.

    He certainly does not need it, nor was he asking for it. ;)

    but I actually is asking is there any potential to promote it.
    eg. use $1 to earn $2
    Certainly, my point above is that a promotion budget needs to be included in to your business model and you should establish the LTV (life time value) of a user and adjust accordingly. As you are getting 5,000 downloads a day, your user base should be expanding, and as your business model has both iap and advertising as revenue streams, your income should be growing constantly unless your are losing users as fast as acquiring them.

    Spending $1 to earn $2 is a no brainer.

    apppicker.com top 10 App review site where developers can post videos, place promo codes and announce apps on sale and gone free.
  • mraalexmraalex Posts: 38Registered Users @
    edited July 2015
    So anyone else has an idea how to get noticed nowadays with new apps? I get 3 downloads a day for new apps after a week of release. No way to continue my app business this way, no matter how much fun it makes.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,580New Users @ @ @ @ @
    mraalex wrote: »
    So anyone else has an idea how to get noticed nowadays with new apps? I get 3 downloads a day for new apps after a week of release. No way to continue my app business this way, no matter how much fun it makes.

    How are downloads for this app?

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1001-photo-effects-pro/id768012002?mt=8

    Released Jan, 2014 into a very competitive category.

  • tomgood887tomgood887 Posts: 126New Users @ @
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.


    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    If I interpret Tom's post correctly...

    At $500 per day, that's 28 x $500 = $14,000 per month from one app. I'd say he's doing quite well. But even if not from one app, it's still a nice chunk of change for an Indie.

    And you're giving him unsolicited advice?...LOL.

    He certainly does not need it, nor was he asking for it. ;)

    but I actually is asking is there any potential to promote it.
    eg. use $1 to earn $2
    Certainly, my point above is that a promotion budget needs to be included in to your business model and you should establish the LTV (life time value) of a user and adjust accordingly. As you are getting 5,000 downloads a day, your user base should be expanding, and as your business model has both iap and advertising as revenue streams, your income should be growing constantly unless your are losing users as fast as acquiring them.

    Spending $1 to earn $2 is a no brainer.

    so where I should spend on the promotion budget by your suggestion?
    What I can figure out is Facebook ads.
  • iekeiiekei Posts: 573Registered Users @ @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    That's one of the least attractive app icons that I've seen recently.

  • apppicker.comapppicker.com Posts: 452Registered Users @ @
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    tomgood887 wrote: »
    $1 for one free app download is too expensive to get the investigation back.
    For my instance, my free app daily download 5k/d and totally income perday is less than 500.
    So any marketing cost exceed 0.1$/download is wast of money.
    Maybe a better app can, but mine can not.


    Alifar wrote: »
    @tomgood887 thats a 10% conversion which is very good. Is this from ads and iaps?

    You can try to raise up the price if it's coming from iaps.

    If I interpret Tom's post correctly...

    At $500 per day, that's 28 x $500 = $14,000 per month from one app. I'd say he's doing quite well. But even if not from one app, it's still a nice chunk of change for an Indie.

    And you're giving him unsolicited advice?...LOL.

    He certainly does not need it, nor was he asking for it. ;)

    but I actually is asking is there any potential to promote it.
    eg. use $1 to earn $2
    Certainly, my point above is that a promotion budget needs to be included in to your business model and you should establish the LTV (life time value) of a user and adjust accordingly. As you are getting 5,000 downloads a day, your user base should be expanding, and as your business model has both iap and advertising as revenue streams, your income should be growing constantly unless your are losing users as fast as acquiring them.

    Spending $1 to earn $2 is a no brainer.

    so where I should spend on the promotion budget by your suggestion?
    What I can figure out is Facebook ads.
    I don't know your app category but options are related forums, blogs, Twitter, adwords.

    apppicker.com top 10 App review site where developers can post videos, place promo codes and announce apps on sale and gone free.
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