Apple App Store Reports Record-Breaking 2018 Holiday Profits

January 11th, 2019

Apple App Store Reports Record-Breaking 2018 Holiday Profits
Anh Nguyen

by Anh Nguyen

COO & Co-Founder at Gummicube, Inc

2018 proved to be a record-breaking year for Apple and the App Store, with consumers worldwide spending over a billion dollars between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The week of profits was then concluded with New Year’s Day 2019 setting a new single-day record. This impressive start to 2019 continues to illustrate the growing value of the app economy, as well as why App Store Optimization is essential for success within the App Store.

1. Record-Breaking Profits

Apple’s report states that spending within the App Store exceeded $1.22 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. This came shortly after Black Friday, where users spent $52 million on app purchases and in-app sales. On New Year’s Day 2019, Apple set a new record with users spending over $322 million in a single day.

2. Winning Categories

The App Store’s profits were driven by several different app categories. According to Apple, gaming and self-care apps were the most popular, with mobile games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite topping the download charts. While these games are already popular on other platforms, mobile-only games such as Asphalt 9 and Brawl Stars also saw increased downloads as users received new phones and began searching for popular mobile games to download. It is worth noting that many of those games are free to download and free to play – their profits come from in-app purchases such as character skins and emotes.

At the start of the new year, apps in the Health & Fitness, Productivity and Education categories saw increased downloads. When users began pursuing their New Year’s Resolutions, they turned to apps designed to help them learn, get in shape and be more productive in their work and daily lives. Apps designed to help with that – especially ones that integrated “resolutions” into their marketing – could capitalize on the demand to convert users.

3. The Importance of ASO

Apple continues to break profit records and the app economy grows with every purchase. Mobile app developers know that there is opportunity for great profits within the App Store, but it is a competitive environment. Apps that were prepared for the new year and the app searches that came with it were the ones to succeed. For every hit mobile game like Fortnite, there are a hundred more that struggle to make a profit through microtransactions. Many developers are wondering: how does an app stand out?

App Store Optimization is the key to excelling within the App Store. A proper ASO strategy can improve an app’s performance by making it more visible within searches and improving its conversion rate. This is achieved through optimized metadata, creatives and descriptions, along with paid campaigns such as Search Ads.

ASO is also important for taking advantage of special events and holidays. The apps that benefitted the most during the record-breaking week were those that were optimized for the season, such as exercise apps for New Year’s Resolutions or mobile games targeting users who received phones for Christmas. With ASO, developers can analyze trends and prepare for a busy season, updating their presence to capitalize on the market.

When done properly, App Store Optimization will help improve an app’s rankings for the keywords and metadata it’s targeting and better appeal to users to convince them to click “Get.” Using Search Ads also helps place the app at the top of search results for targeted keywords, which in turn improves its organic indexation for those keywords and better informs developers of what terms to target.

The app market shows no signs of slowing, so 2019 may prove to be even more successful and profitable than 2018. App developers can benefit from the App Store’s success, but to stand out in the store, ASO is a must.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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