Earlier this week, the Seattle conference Casual Connect welcomed AppAnnie, the AppStore analytics & intelligence service, as they spoke about the appstore economy. Primarily focusing on the iOS and Google Play, App Annie showed off their data about the two appstores, mainly focusing on revenue & downloads by country. While AppAnnie guarded most of its quantitative data for itself, it was enlightening to see France come up consistently beneath the US, Japan, China, and the UK, and to see us jumping back & forth above and below Germany, depending on the metrics. I took away a lot of interesting things from this study, so I thought I’d share some thoughts.
1. International is not an option, it’s the way
With France coming in 7th overall for revenue by country on iOS games, it is clear that France cannot be the only market for iOS developers. With an average revenue per download of $.34, vs. $1.90 in Japan or even $.67 in the US & Australia, it’s not a matter of testing one country and then expanding – it is a financially poor decision NOT to launch internationally. Of course, one can argue culture differences influencing the number of downloads in the US or Japan, I say bull-hockey. According to AppAnnie, the percentage of iOS revenue produced by the top US app store published outside of the US was, on average, %56. That means that Electronic Arts, Disney & Zynga are making more than half their revenue in countries with “different cultures.” With APAC bringing in 2x as much revenue as the European market, it’s not only a question of French apps launching throughout Europe – an international strategy needs to be just that – international.
2. It’s not just iOS – Android versions are key
While iPhone revenue still outperforms iPad and Google Play revenue in the US, UK, and Japan, Google Play is catching up on Downloads. And with AppAnnie’s analysis that iOS revenue per download growth now outpacing total download growth, it’s highly probably that Google Play revenue will be catching up as well, once users find themselves with enough apps to want to pay for something better.
3. It’s all in the Titles, baby
On the last slide, AppAnnie points out that one of iOS’s key to its monetization is its sophisticated titles. With companies like CoVoiturage changing to BlaBlaCar in prepration for total internationalization, now more than ever it is key for French companies to think wisely about product names. It’s not enough for it to make sense in French, it has to be catchy, appealing, and easy to understand in several languages.
AppAnnie – a mobile developers best tool
I’ve long used AppAnnie as a way to track iOS apps – whether my own or others – and if you’re ever looking to find out just how popular someone’s app is, I suggest you make use of their free service, which tracks posiitioning per day, keeps track of best placement per category for each country, and gives you a pretty good overall view of how successful a particular app is. If you’re building an iOS app yourself, I’d wager it is invaluable in its analytics.