Apple’s newly redesigned App Store launched late September to much fanfare and anticipation from developers and publisher alike. One of the most touted features were the daily spotlights, featuring both an app and game of the day. With a serious lack of transparency, there are a lot of unknowns in the mobile app economy. As a developer, what does getting featured do for you?

At Apptopia, it’s our job to give you the answers to your questions and today is no different. We studied 30 days of featured apps and games to give you the insight you need. There’s a lot to take in from the chart below but you’re going to want to keep reading afterwards because there’s much more insight and surrounding information that you’ll find valuable.


*Percentage gains represent  full day of downloads in the US on the day of feature compared to full day of downloads in the US the previous day

Three things are immediately clear:

  1. Apps received a higher download boost than games
  2. Weekday features are more effective than those on weekends
  3. Free apps/games were downloaded more than paid apps/games

Key things to know when looking at the chart:

– There were four full weekends during the 30 day period we studied

– 5 out of the 30 apps of the day were paid apps

– 11 out of the 30 games of the day were paid games

– 3 out of the 5 days a paid app was the app of the day, it was on a weekend

– 4 out of the 11 days a paid game was the game of the day, it was on a weekend

Already Established Apps Being Featured

Established apps receive less of a bump and this isn’t a shock. Starbucks is an example where Apptopia estimated it only received a handful of downloads more than the previous day of being featured. Not only is everyone aware that Starbucks has an app, but chances are high that the majority of people who would want to have the Starbucks app already have it.

Apps that were already ranking within the top 20 of their respective category before being featured, only received an average download boost of 44%. For games ranking within the top 20 of the Games category, it was 37%. This begs the question of whether or not Apple really cares about discovery for independent shops or lesser known apps. Apptopia Founder & COO Jonathan Kay dives deeper into that question here.

Rank Surged

19 apps went from unranked overall to being ranked somewhere in the overall charts. This means that some of these jumped more than 1,000 rank spots. For those that were already ranked overall, the average jump in rank was moving up 137 spots. For games, only 10 were unranked overall before being boosted into the ranks. Of the games already ranked, the average jump was 321 spots.

Diving Deeper

Each day we analyzed, the App of the Day was listed before the Game of the Day except once on the 24th of September, where the paid game Morphite was listed first. We attribute this to Apple experimenting. This did not give Morphite a better performance by comparison. Something else interesting is that on Apple’s ‘Today’ tab, the App of the Day was never the first thing listed. You have to scroll to see it. There was always some piece of content first with another app or group of apps to download. Weird.


Every day we analyzed, the app and game of the day were always directly one after the other with the exception of one day where there was a piece of content between the two. Again, we attribute this to Apple experimenting with placement to get a better feel for user interaction.

Interested in learning more? Contact us or schedule a demo.