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App Seasonality Trends for Holiday Season

App Market Insights

App Seasonality Trends for Holiday Season

It’s already the end of the year, and you’re probably rushing through the last projects to finish 2019 on a good note. The end of the year is a time with high seasonality effects on the App and Play store. Depending on the sector you’re in, you’ll be expecting either a rush or a much calmer period. Using our Market Intelligence data, we had a look at which types of apps were most affected by end-of-year seasonality.


Business, Sports, Travel and Navigation apps can expect a drop in downloads of up to -20%

Not surprisingly, December seems to be a rather slow month for the Business sector. With many companies closing for the Christmas Holidays, we see a drop in daily downloads across all apps in the Business category. This is true for both apps on the App and Play Store, although the drop is more prominent on the App Store: -16% on average daily downloads in December for Business apps on the App Store vs. -7% for Business apps on the Play Store.

AppTweak Market Intelligence: Apps in the Business category can expect a drop in average daily downloads in December.

Apps in the Business category can expect a drop in average daily downloads in December.

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That said, business apps aren’t the only ones affected by a slowdown in December. When we compared the yearly seasonality of categories in the US across both Stores, we found that the categories Sports, Travel / Travel & Local, and Navigation / Maps & Navigation were also negatively impacted in December, even more than the Business category.

AppTweak Market Intelligence: Categories with a drop in average daily app downloads around the month of December.

Categories with a drop in average daily app downloads around the month of December.

Each of these drops can have a logical explanation. Regarding the Sports category, there are no big tournaments during the Christmas holidays due to the Winter Break. When it comes to the Travel category, one would expect a peak in downloads for the travel apps due to the holidays, but the data suggests that people don’t download travel apps as frequently during Christmas, probably because they travel to visit family, and not so much to leave on vacation. The holidays also suggest there are fewer business trips, and thus less need for certain travel apps.

If your app is registered in one of these categories, you can use our Seasonality Trend to better understand what movements in your app’s daily downloads are really due to your app’s performance vs. those that are purely due to market seasonality.

Entertainment apps benefit from +20% increase in downloads in December vs. 9% for Games

Among the app categories with the most positive increase in average daily downloads around Christmas, we found the categories Games and Entertainment. Surprisingly, we found that apps in the Entertainment category actually benefit from a much bigger boost in December than apps in the gaming industry with an average of + 20% in average daily downloads across both stores for the Entertainment apps vs. +9% average across both stores for Games.

AppTweak Market Intelligence: Entertainment apps benefit from a boost in average daily downloads of +20% around December, even higher than gaming apps.
Entertainment apps benefit from a boost in average daily downloads of +20% around December, even higher than gaming apps.

To better understand this hype in entertainment apps around Christmas, we used our Top Charts feature to check what were the most popular entertainment apps in the US on December 25th last year. Among the top 10, we found several apps very specific to Christmas, these apps concentrate nearly 100% of their downloads in December. This explains the boost in average daily downloads across apps in the Entertainment category in December.

Discover the Top Charts of any category, country in the past with our Market Intelligence feature

AppTweak Market Intelligence: The Top Charts of the Entertainment Category on December 25th 2018 and their rank progression compared to today.
The Top Charts of the Entertainment Category on December 25th 2018 and their rank progression compared to today.

It will be up to 10 times tougher for apps to reach the top charts of the Entertainment category this year

We estimate that, last year, an app needed to make at least 30k daily downloads in order to reach the Top 5 results of the Entertainment Category in both the App and Play Store (US). This year, however, competition is tougher. When we compare last year’s Top Charts with today, we can find some important new players such as Disney+ (300k daily downloads on the App Store and 93k on the Play Store) and TikTok (100k daily downloads on the App Store and 55k on the Play Store).

AppTweak Market Intelligence - Today’s Top Charts of the Entertainment Category on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (US)

Today’s Top Charts of the Entertainment Category on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (US)

Using our Downloads to Top feature, we can see the daily downloads we estimate an entertainment app need to make in order to reach the Top Charts of its category. Both Stores require 30k daily downloads to reach the 5th position in the Entertainment category. However, we can see that, on the App Store, the competition is tougher than on the Play Store (US) above that 5th position. While an app in the Play Store requires an estimated 50k daily downloads to be the n°1 Entertainment app, this amount jumps to 200k on the App Store. We can see on the graph below that the average daily downloads to reach top positions increases exponentially from Top 5 to N°1 on the App Store.

AppTweak Market Intelligence - Comparing the estimated n° of daily downloads needed for an Entertainment app to reach the Top Charts in the US (Apple App Store and Google Play Store).

Comparing the estimated n° of daily downloads needed for an Entertainment app to reach the Top Charts in the US (Apple App Store and Google Play Store).

Get the n° downloads to reach top for any category and country with AppTweak Market Intelligence

The launch of Disney+ in November is a real game-changer. In just a couple of days, the app totally outpassed other leading Entertainment apps such as Netflix & YouTube in the US on both the App and Play Store. On the App Store, Disney+ managed to reach an outstanding average of 300k daily downloads in two days! This explains the increase in competition within the Entertainment category across both Stores.

AppTweak App Intelligence : Disney+ drastically overtake leading Entertainment apps in terms of average daily downloads in the US, both on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Disney+ drastically overtake leading Entertainment apps in terms of average daily downloads in the US, both on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Read more on Disney+’ amazing success

To sum up, December is a month with high seasonality trends, which immediately affect the average daily downloads of apps from certain categories. Categories with the biggest decrease in average downloads are:

  • Sports: -19% on the App Store and -20% on the Play Store
  • Business: -16% on the App Store and -7% on the Play Store
  • Travel: -13% on the App Store and -15% on the Play Store
  • [Maps &] Navigation: -13% on App Store and -8% on the Play Store

The categories that most benefit from the month of December are Entertainment and Games:

  • Entertainment: +19% on the App Store and +20% on the Play Store
  • Games: + 5% on the App Store and +13% on the Play Store

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