Apple’s App Store redesign in iOS 11 is paying off for developers, with a new study from Sensor Tower (via TechCrunch) revealing that apps landing in the featured spots on the new App Store can see a boost in downloads by as much as 800 percent. The study analyzed data from Sept. 2017 to the present finding that the median U.S. iPhone downloads for apps that appeared in the “Game of the Day” spot increased by 802 percent during the week following the feature, as compared to the week prior. Apps landing in “App of the Day” saw a slightly lower but still significant boost of 685 percent. Increases were somewhat lower for apps simply featured in App Store Stories or App Lists, but still showed a demonstrable increase.
Apple debuted a significant redesign of the App Store on iOS devices with the debut of iOS 11 last year, bringing the user design more inline with Apple Music and Apple News, and most significantly presenting a whole new “Today” section where Apple’s App Store Editors could highlight and curate content in a whole new way, essentially turning the App Store home page into a news feed with “App of the Day” and “Game of the Day” entires, articles, how-to guides, themed collections of apps, and more. The new design significantly reduced the emphasis on simply displaying “top charts” of apps, instead going for a curated editorial perspective and ensuring that the App Store content pages remain fresh enough for users to want to visit regularly and see what’s new, and creating a more “magazine-like” experience.
The Sensor Tower report also provides some insight on which app developers that are most frequently being featured by Apple, revealing a possible bias toward the big publishers like Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, and Gameloft, but also noting that although 13 of the 15 most often featured publishers had at least one million U.S. iPhone downloads since September, 29 percent of the apps that were featured during that time were also from publishers who had fewer than 10,000 downloads. “While it’s clearly the case that big publishers are more likely to receive the largest number of features, small publishers still very much have their chance to benefit from a feature on the App Store,” said Sensor Tower’s Mobile Insights Analyst, Jonathan Briskman.