Our goal now that we’re tracking over 1 million apps in the iTunes App Store is to get a deep understanding of App Store dynamics so that we can surface interesting emerging apps, publishers and mobile trends to our customers.
As pointed out by Benedict Evans and the Flurry team recently, movements in rankings around Christmas are especially interesting. The hypothesis is that the multitude of new iPhone and iPad activations give us a sense for the pulse of the market at both the publisher level (who’s hot and who’s not) and the larger genre level (what are the types of apps that are doing well now?)
One app that caught our attention on Christmas was a game titled ‘Hidden Objects: Mystery Crimes‘. It’s published by Storm8, which was rumored to be raising a $300M mega round from venture investors including Accel at a $1B valuation back in 2011. Here’s what the app’s historical rankings look like –
As you can see, Storm8’s game made quite an entrance on Christmas Day. The game was nowhere to be seen in the Overall rankings the day before, but on Christmas day it entered the charts at rank 7. The game did appear in some sub-genre rankings the week prior but made a dramatic jump on Christmas day. The game was still in the Top 10 on January 1, 2014. Whatever strategy Storm8 used to make this push, it seems to have paid off handsomely.
To get a sense of how hard it is to break into the Top 10, take a look at the historical ranks of some of the other apps that were on the coveted list on Christmas day. We’ve removed data on three Santa Tracker apps since their “use case” is pretty limited to Xmas.
As you can see, all other apps had a fair bit of history in the Top 1000 before making it into the Top 10 on Christmas day. Storm8’s app had no history even in the top 1000 and then debuted in the Top 10 on Christmas day itself (the company saw similar success on Christmas day last year so they’ve seemingly found a strategy that works).
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