We currently track over 1 million apps in the Apple iTunes App Store across 23 primary genres in 155 countries. We will soon be integrating mobile app data, metrics and analytics into CB Insights to help you discover emerging apps and publishers and understand mobile trends. We’ll be peeling back the curtain on this data over time, but we wanted to kick off things by sharing some interesting insights we have gleaned from the data we have collected so far. As we collect more longitudinal data on mobile apps, we will revisit some of our hypotheses below to see if they hold. Note: The analysis below only considers the US market.
Let’s start by looking at the composition of the Top 1000 apps by the 23 primary genres that Apple classifies each app into (click to expand the chart).
As is clearly evident from the chart above, Games account for over 30% of the Top 1000 apps. Moreover, the top 7 genres account for almost 75% of the apps.
An interesting analysis of this data is how this composition changes by day of the week. The hypothesis here is that apps geared towards entertainment would see an uptick in the Top 1000 over the weekends. Similarly, apps geared towards productivity should see an increase in their numbers during the weekdays.
As expected, we see the proportion of apps in the Games genre go down as the week progresses and then go up again as we approach the weekend. The opposite is true for the Productivity genre (even if ever so slightly) as well as the Other genre which includes apps in the remaining 16 genres.
When we turn our attention specifically to the Games genre, we observe some interesting trends:
- Number of unique apps in the Top 1000 (over the analyzed time period of the last 3 months): 1422
- Number of apps that consistently stayed in the Top 1000: 111
- Number of publishers consistently in the Top 1000: 78
- Average number of days an app stays in the Top 1000: 19.7
Here is a sample of private publishers that have had their apps consistently rank in the Top 1000 over the time period analyzed –
The last statistic – the average number of days an app stays in the Top 1000 is interesting as we wanted to see if certain genres had greater or less staying power in the Top 1000 than the hyper-competitive games category. How does it compare to other genres? Let’s take a look.
We can clearly see that Social Networking apps tend to linger in the Top 1000 the longest, followed by Travel and Music. On the other hand, Medical, Education and Books tend to stay the shortest.
To take this analysis further, we examine the distribution of this metric within a genre. The graph below shows the distribution density of this statistic for the Games genre –
The huge bump at the beginning indicates that the lifespan of most Game apps in the Top 1000 is quite short. It’s a competitive world out there. There is another marked bump towards the end which indicates a small group of high quality or insanely viral apps that enjoy an unusually lengthy stay in the Top 1000. Expanding this analysis to the Top 5 genres, we get the following picture –
Looking at the graph, it becomes apparent that the Games genre has a high turnover rate with most apps only staying in the Top 1000 for a short amount of time. What is also interesting is the relatively flatter distribution density function for the Social Networking genre. This could be attributed to network effects which may tend to keep a popular app in the Top 1000 list for a relatively long time due to lock-in of the user.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting other trends we’ve observed in the app store as well as noteworthy apps and publishers that venture capital firms and corporate M&A groups may be particularly keen to spot early. To stay abreast of additional mobile app store analyses and fast moving publishers, sign up for our newsletter here.