8/20/2014 4:17:24 PM
How to Predict When An App Will Get The Most Downloads
app marketing, mobile downloads, mobile app usage
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App Developer Magazine

How to Predict When An App Will Get The Most Downloads



Artyom Dogtiev Artyom Dogtiev in Marketing & Promotion Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Throughout 2013 and 2014, app owners and developers have been paying a great deal of attention to their app user’s base retention techniques and increasing their profits from existing customers. Companies such as Distimo, Statista and many others are being extremely instrumental in terms of getting analytical data for many aspects of the app development ecosystem. Unfortunately, there was one missing piece of the puzzle - deviations for mobile app downloads obtained within 24 hrs. 

While researching for one of our projects recently, we obtained that data. The idea was to get a clear picture for when the app was getting the least and most number of downloads throughout the business week and on the weekend. We wanted to find an answer to the question, “What time of a day will an app’s traffic generation campaign that we launch be the most efficient?”

We realize that this data is a bit subjective in that we analyzed a specific game and not a set of games. On the other hand, it is valuable information for you to add to similar data for other apps, analyze in conjunction and use in your app traffic generation campaign. 

We chose to analyze Thursday as a business day and Saturday as a day off. On the screenshot shown here you can see the actual data. Let’s talk about the methodology we applied and the meaning of the acquired data.


The horizontal axis provides a 24-hour timeline while the vertical axis provides percentage for increase and decrease in app downloads during this period. The zero level illustrates the normalization process that presents constant velocity of obtaining 1,000 downloads.

Geo targeting - US only
App category - Games
Device - iPhone only

Business Day Traffic:

The highest point during a business day is 8am to 9am, assuming this is the time when people are on their work commute, combating boredom by downloading a new game. By 4pm the downloads obtaining velocity matches the normalized value and then by midnight it decreases to - 30%. The 8am to 9am time frame looks like a good window for running app traffic generation campaigns considering this is the time when people download apps from the App Store. 

From 3pm to 6pm we see no deviation from the average normalized speed and then from 6pm to 10pm, we see a fast decline. The latter we can attribute to people being focused on chores at home and not so focused on downloading new apps. 

Day Off Traffic:

Overall the weekend deviation from the norm is less than during a business week. We can see the peak from 8pm to 10pm, which roughly corresponds to the time when people are still at home in their WiFi network range and so it’s more likely that they will download apps - especially games big in size. 

It’s important to note that we only see a decrease after 3pm, which actually contradicts the assumption that on a weekend people download mobile games during the evening. Most likely during this period they play more games but are not searching for new ones.

If you'd like to talk more about app marketing, feel free to shoot me an email.


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