What Does it Take to Be a Number 1 App? New Data Reveals It’s Getting Harder

The mobile app market has been growing exponentially, and its growth rate was helped along by the lockdowns that occurred during the ongoing pandemic. This has made the stakes even higher for app developers because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making it a lot harder to get into the top ten list for app downloads, let alone get the number one spot.

New data that was just published by Sensor Tower reveals that an iPhone app that is not some sort of game needs around 156,000 downloads in the span of a day to become the number 1 app on the store with all things having been considered and taken into account. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the pre pandemic download requirement was about 114,000, which suggests a 37% increase in difficulty to get the coveted top spot.

Interestingly, the trend has been going in reverse for mobile games. A single mobile gaming app needed about 171,000 downloads in 2019 to be ranked number 1, but in spite of the fact that this is the case this year an app need only get 93,000 installs over the course of a day to get the same results. This is a 46% drop, and it might encourage more game developers to make their entry into the market.

2020 was an even more difficult year for app developers that wanted to make it to first place because they needed 185,000 dollars in a twenty four hour period to get there. This dropped to 158,000 in 2021 and 156,000 in 2022, and while they are still higher than pre-pandemic levels this gradual decline suggests that the market is reaching equilibrium.

Mobile games that got ranked first received 167,000 downloads in 2020, a dip from the 171,00 required in the previous year. In 2021, they only needed 102,000 which was the biggest decline by far, and the trend continued somewhat this year as well.
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