According to a new survey conducted by the French startup Stardust, 50% of the apps published on the App Store and the Google Play can be considered as ‘living dead apps’.
Zombies turned out to be extremely popular in Hollywood. From the drama to the comedy, it’s like every single genre has to be zombified at some point. Over the last few years, apps turned to be an extremely profitable business for some companies, but not for all. For such reasons, some people started to call apps that received only a couple of reviews and were downloaded less than 1 to 5.000 times “zombies”.
In January, the BBC published a report from the Adeven Indicate tracker, which concluded that over two-thirds of the apps are downloaded on only a few Smartphones. Which means that the App Business is not as lucrative as expected, except for a few developers.
According to a new study conducted by Stardust, a French company specialized in the apps business, approximately 50% of the apps are extremely unprofitable. In its study, Stardust reveals a lack of commitment by most of the apps developers. 65% of the apps published on the App Store were reviewed by less than 10 users worldwide and never received any update. On the Google Play, the “living-dead apps” rate drops to 41%.
On the Google Play, 68% of the apps have been downloaded less than 5.000 times. Considering the gap between the apps considered as “zombies apps” and “profitable apps” on the Google Play and the App Store, chances that more than 75% of the apps from the App Store are downloaded less than 5.000 times are quite high. In January, Adeven Indicate concluded that approximately 579,001 apps out of a total of 888,856 apps are zombies.
These apps “may still receive a couple of downloads every day - maybe even up to 100 or so - but that is not going to be enough for a developer to capitalise on or draw motivation from to support the app”, explains a PR from Adeven.
Five years ago, making its way to the top spot wasn’t that complicated for developers. The growing numbers of apps on the Store and the competition with some huge development studios makes things worst for indie developers and startups.
In such conditions, generating downloads, and so, money, is probably not as easy as expected.
Apps that do not generate enough revenues from their official release day are usually left behind by the developers who prefer to move on rather than investing more money into patches and updates.
According to the study conducted by Stardust, the most popular apps usually have short update cycles. Most of the apps with 10 updates or more usually receive a new update every 68 days on the App Store. Every single new update is usually used as a way to promote the new features. Chances to have a few more publications on the Web are high if the developers turn out to be reactive. According to Stardust, the success of an update can be verified within the first two weeks following its release.
Considered as the best way to boost the visibility of apps on the Store, App Store Optimization remains the best way for startups and indie developers to keep an eye on their products after the initial release and to track their performances. ASO provides the tools to understand why an app turns out to be popular on some markets and provides the right tools for developers to keep their app updated and over the top.
To avoid ‘the z world’, developers should consider a good digital strategy and a solid business plan for their marketing campaigns. Having the right updates at the right time and working with the proper ASO Tools gives the opportunity to developers to face these new challenges…
By Etienne Froment