New reports indicate that it’s gotten harder to get an app to the top of the App Store in terms of downloads over the past several years. To break into the No. 1 position on Apple’s iPhone App Store in the U.S. the no. of downloads needed has climbed up by 37% since 2019.
It is now estimated that an app requires approximately 156,000 downloads on a given day to hit the top spot, up from 114,000 daily downloads back in 2019. However, only downloads push an app to the top charts. There are several factors that Apple’s ranking algorithm takes into account.
What other factors influence the apps?
Apptopia believes that Apple has modified the current version of its algorithm, as it now considers numerous factors like velocity, app usage, the number of new users, and more. However, the number of downloads is still a part of the equation here.
Another report from Sensor Tower suggests that in 2020, the number of downloads it was taking an app to hit No. 1 on the U.S. App Store was 185,000, up 62% year-over-year. It happened because of the overall boost seen in app downloads and usage that occurred as users were at home during the lockdown.
Sensor Tower estimates apps must reach a median of 156,000 daily installs to reach No. 1 on the App Store by the end of this year. Android apps on the other hand need just 56,000 installs, down 33% from the 83,000 required in 2019.
When looking at mobile games, Sensor Tower found a similar trend between iPhone games and Android games. With Androids needing a far lesser number of median downloads. The report also notes that, historically, it’s taken fewer installs for games to get into the Top 10. So far in 2022, iPhone games have needed 26,000 daily downloads to reach the Top 10.
It’s quite tough for other countries; says the report
While a lot of this new report is focused on the U.S. market. Sensor Tower also examined how the U.S.’s Top 10 compared to other countries. Here, it found that it’s much tougher for non-game apps in China to reach the Top 10 — requiring nearly more than twice the number of daily downloads as in the U.S.
While all data here is quite credible, the report does not take into account the other factors apps and games require to climb the charts. So, it’s still not a complete picture of how or why apps can climb to the top of the app stores.