How Many Downloads Should My App Get?


What's a good download number?  How do you know if your app is a winner or a loser based on downloads?

As developers, we're never satisfied with downloads.  Like little kids Christmas morning.  We rip through our presents either incredibly disappointed (Socks!), or our eyes gleam as we unleash a brand new Ferrari remote control car.  Unfortunately that remote control car only catches our attention for a short period of time, then it finds itself right next to the unsatisfying pair of socks.

My jaw has dropped more times than I can count after publishing a new app and receiving poor downloads.  How could I have put all this work in and followed every instruction only to receive horrible download numbers?

Sidenote: that's why we created the free app business workshop for anyone who's having a hard time getting started with apps (secure your spot here).

I've also been on the flip side where an app is quickly thrown together and it hit the Top Charts solely through organic traffic.  WTF? 

Sometimes it feels like Apple rewards or punishes our downloads for no apparent reason.  This article will walk you through Bluecloud's strategies for dealing with downloads and how we decide what's a winner or when to cut our losses.  I will also introduce Bluecloud's Rule of 500 with specific examples and how they apply to you.

Finally, Android readers pay close attention,  I will unveil never seen before Bluecloud case studies from Android Stores.

Ready?  Let's pump up those download numbers!

Publishing Apps & Downloads

So you've built your app and everything's ready to go.  You glance over the calendar and notice there's a 3-day weekend starting tomorrow.  Perfect!  You click “Publish” and call it a day.

The next day you open your AppAnnie Report only to see 46 downloads.  What!?!  How could this happen?  I spent $4,000 on this app, it's a beast!  I've talked to dozens of top developers and read countless blogs.  I even purchased this source code from a reputable developer with a proven track record.

Ok, chill Mr. Psychotic Developer.  Lets break this down…


If you've released an app before, you know the first 3-4 days of your release are weighted the most.  App releases typically work like a bell curve.  It's common to receive a really low download count this first day.  This could be because of various ASO reasons, Apple processing your app, or even the time of day it was published.  Don't trip.

The next day or two you typically see a higher download number.  It could be X2 or maybe X50, but it's almost always higher.  This is Apple computing all your data and testing you out.

Day 3-5 typically marks the end of your app's push from Apple.  These are typically the realistic download numbers you can expect to receive moving forward.  If you're back at 46 downloads, it doesnt necessarily mean your app is dead.  Hell, if it's a paid app at $2.99, you're profiting $138 a day.

It's important to note that your download rate will fluctuate the first few days after publishing.  If you're not satisfied after day 3 or 4, it's time to act fast!  Start running some traffic campaigns, adjust your ASO, check your reviews, or maybe you need to consider taking your app completely off the Store and making some serious adjustments.

Remember the longer you wait, the harder it will be to reach your projected download number.

You need to have a solid foundation before you can expect any sort of downloads or revenue – don't jump ahead!  Checkout the full walk-through from idea to hitting the Top Charts with our free app business workshop.

What to do with low downloads

Of course there's a scenario for everything.  One download a day could potentially bring in a $100 return depending on it's monetization system. But, how realistic and relevant is that to your apps?

With every app scenario, there are a few numbers you NEED to pay attention to.  If these numbers hit, you will never have to worry about downloads again.  Does analytics sound exciting now?  Hell ya!

800downloadsMy boss Carter Thomas checks analytics reports DAILY.  You know how often he checks revenue reports?

Maybe once a week, sometimes even less.  The point is, analytics lead to more money, not checking how much money you've already made.

Here are a couple ways you can use your analytics reports to boost revenue.

1.  ARPU:  Stands for “Average Revenue Per User.”  This is where we put our marketing hat on.  If you have a free app getting 46 downloads a day and making $20 through In App Purchases and Ad Revenue, JACKPOT!  Don't be upset about your 46 downloads and measly $20, lets multiply that!

If this is a free app, that means every user = $0.43.  Doesn't sound like much huh?  If we purchase 10,000 installs at a $0.10 CPI with the same conversions, that's a gross $4,300!  The crazy part is, there's thousands of developers out there who aren't doing anything about this.

2.  Cost per acquisition:  How much does it cost you to get someone to install your app (CPI)?  This will help us with our traffic campaigns like the above.appannie iphone

3.  Unique Users, Active Users and Sessions:  You may not be making enough money off the users you have.  Most apps are opened, closed, and thrown away.  If you are retaining your users but seeing low revenue, start thinking about some new monetization systems.

4.  eCPM:  eCPM stands for “effective cost per thousand impressions,” and measures how well your ad networks are monetizing.  This is important because it tells us how well our audience is reacting to the ads we're running.  Whether a high or low eCPM, contact your ad network and ask what you're doing right or wrong.  Don't feel stupid about reaching out to people, I do it all the time and it's the best way to learn.  Get step-by-step instructions to calculate your eCPM here.

5.  Costs/Profits:  The easiest and most important number to calculate.  Remember not to drive your finances to the ground.  Read more below where I talk about Cutting your Losses.

I could go on-and-on revealing killer keywords and marketing strategies that dominate downloads, but you're better off joining us for our free app business workshop which will help take your app ideas to realities.

Bluecloud's Rule of 500

It's impossible for me to list every app scenario and their downloads (while keeping my sanity).  Above you read how a solid ARPU can take your app from $20 a day to $4,300 by simply running traffic campaigns.  But what if you want to master your app before making an investment.  No prob!

Firstly, what's Bluecloud's Rule of 500?  You guessed it!  Any app receiving 500 or more downloads a day in the App Store Free market with organic traffic.

If I'm hitting 500 downloads a day a week after my app was released, I know I have something to work with.  Don't get me wrong, I'm much more excited about getting 10-20,000 installs a day, but 500 is a good place to start.

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
-Colin Powell

Below are some of Bluecloud's own apps and how the Rule of 500 applies:

  • Add Music & Video:  We originally purchased this code for a small investment.  We flipped and published it, then forgot all about it for 8 months. When we checked back we discovered it had made over a 300% return!  This code has been skinned multiple times since and seen very similar results.
  • Gem Dots:  Puzzles will always be relevant.  That's why so many developers stick to puzzles for the long run.   Figure out how to get consistent downloads for codes like Gem Dots, and you will have a killer puzzle network.
  • Tiger Stickers:  Tiger Stickers is a great example of an app that did not initially reach 500 downloads a day.  Our target demographic didn't hit, so we made some simple changes with the metadata and now it's a consistent winner!500

If you've received emails or read blogs about codes like VideoMerger, Gem Dots, and Tiger Stickers in the past, you know about these codes firsthand.  We've put our best developers and just came out with some solid updates.  If you want your own copy, check-in with our Source Code Page for some unreal prices.  You won't want to miss this!

Don't take the Rule of 500 as a make-it or break-it strategy.  I'm simply pointing out that 500 is a good number 🙂

Also remember an app is never done.  Its impossible to keep consistent download numbers without some elbow grease.  Make sure you're frequently updating your app, listening to your customers, and making adjustments while recording outcomes.

Create your own “Golden Download Number.”

A Look inside Android

How do you know what a good download number is on the Android market?  While user behavior and devices act differently with Android, the same strategies still apply.   Compare apps published in different markets to get an idea of what downloads look like.

Google Play Downloads are increasing faster, but Apple is STILL bringing in more revenue.

In the below example, there is a download chart from the EXACT same app published in two different markets.  The top app is published on Google Play, and the app on the bottom is published on Amazon.


Kingdom Coins Amazon

You'll notice the top app on Google Play consistently hits 500 downloads a day while the amazon app on the bottom is roughly hitting 100.  However the Amazon app is generating slightly more revenue even though it has less downloads.  Again, this has to do with the behavior of people on different platforms.

The big takeaway is, you won't always see similar download characteristics on the App Store, as you do on other markets.

We have over 8 Kingdom Coins apps on the market and have earned over  $200,000 with this code last year alone.  Want to get your hands on this source code?  Visit Bluecloud's Source Code Page to get your copy + bonus tools and lessons so you can dominate.

When to cut your losses

In my time as Project Manager with Bluecloud Solutions, we've only cut a few codes due to cost-upkeep and dissolved partnerships.  However, it is important to know when to quit pouring money into a sinking ship.  So when do you put a project on the back-burner?  Here's a couple tips to consider:

1.  Do a thorough analytic sweep:  Make sure you know the ins-and-outs of your app before you decide to walk away.  Dig deep, there may be a hidden golden nugget waiting to be discovered.

2.  Constantly Update:  Even if you haven't made changes to the code, upload a new binary and submit a new version anyway.  Apple likes it when developers keep their projects fresh.  There's always something to do.  Localize, add screenshots for different devices, create a preview video.

3.  Tweak like a Geek:  Change your ASO.  This may be the most important thing you can do.  Change titles, keywords, categories, your first screenshot…  Upload, record, analyze, and try again.

4.  Experiment with Price:  Change your price around.  If after you change the price you're bringing in less money but more users, Apple will notice the traffic boost.

5.  Rule of 50:  If after all this you're getting less than 50 downloads and making no money, this is a wakeup call.

6.  Remove & Upload again:  Ever feel like Apple has a grudge against your app?  A strategy I use frequently is to Remove the App from Sale, erase all metadata, change the icon, and re-upload as a brand new app.  This is a last resort, but at least it will give you a fresh start when examined by Apple.recycle

6.  Reuse, Reduce, Recycle:  Sometimes the theme and target demographic we choose just doesn't work.  When we develop a code from scratch, I don't judge it until I have at least 3 skins of the same code.  This gives me an overall look at the code + ASO, and what works VS what doesn't.

7.  Secure a spot in the Bluecloud App Workshop for a full look inside the App Store with step-by-step strategies to winning with apps and downloads.

8.  Never Give Up:  If you've gotten this far with this post, chances are you are more dedicated than 3/4 of the developers out there. You can figure this out. THINK!

In closing, downloads are the biggest piece of the puzzle we're all trying to figure out.  How do I get on the Top Charts?  What special keywords are they using?  Study your competition, but don't get frustrated.  Chances are the apps you're struggling to compete with, are also struggling with others.

It is important to experiment, but it's even more important to take a step back and study your own app.  The best data you have is your own.  Use it.

If you want to read more – subscribe to the newsletter and sign up for the app workshop.  We wrote it for people who enjoy this type of article. Easily the best place to start if you want to learn more about apps.

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Have a story about something YOU did that dramatically changed your downloads for the better or worse?  Drop a comment, I'd love to hear about it!



  • Joe February 6, 2015

    Holy crap… talking about an AH HA! moment. This is the best info on analytics I’ve read yet! Totally makes sense… I can’t wait to get home and go back through my analytics and see WTF was going on during the launches of each of my apps… thanks for spelling this out for me. Priceless.

    now you’ve got me considering those ebooks!


  • Mark February 6, 2015

    Awesome! Glad this hit home with you. I spent a lot of time trying to cram as much in as I could. Yes analytics is the key that opens all the doors in mobile. Its like a backwards math problem, you have the solution, now you need to adjust the variables until you hit gold!

    An important topic I didn’t discuss too much in the post is app processing during launch. We’re noticing a drag between an app’s release and it’s ASO. I’d recommend letting your app sit in iTunesConnect before releasing, or better yet release and then pull it right away. We have experienced and heard from others having up to a 2 week delay before all ASO (including keywords) is processed. Very important for a killer launch. Have you noticed this as well?

    Yes! So pumped you’re considering the ebooks! Carter and several other experts spent a lot of time and energy putting these ebooks together. I’ve been lucky enough to be apart of it, and they are badass! The great thing about the ebooks is not even the hundreds of pages of content and walkthroughs, but they also funnel you through steps and processes that are detrimental for your success.

    Thanks again, get ’em downloads!

  • Joe February 7, 2015

    Yeah I have noticed a lag… its making me second guess myself. Thanks for saying something!

    I have an app that launched on Friday Jan 23… Jan 24th and 25 were pretty good ~350 downloads each day. I was happy with those numbers considering I did no marketing, press releases or anything (I know shame on me). Every day after the 25th though the game slid lower and lower each day.. finally bottoming out into the single digits, this continued up until about two days ago and its started to pick back up… its currently getting about 70 a day (still no marketing, but I have done press releases). I’m considering spinning up a paid version this weekend and getting it submitted hoping for an additional bump with some cross promotion. I’m also considering doing some add spend for some paid traffic but I want to analyze the data first to make sure it looks like it will be worth it.

    I have this same app out on google and amazon and it hasn’t done squat… probably need a longer description laced with some keyword goodness. 🙂

    Anyway thanks again for the great post! keep them coming we really appreciate it

  • Andrew February 7, 2015

    Great post Mark!

    I really like the 500 rule as a rough benchmark to use. When you release do you use any ‘free’ marketing tools like cross promo’s through other apps, sending emails etc. to leverage Apple’s initial boost?

    Also, I’ve noticed a similar bell curve on Google Play, but it seems to drop off after 30 days instead of Apple’s 6 or 7.

    Thanks for the valuable info!

  • Mark February 7, 2015

    @Joe –
    Sounds like you already know what to do!

    I’d emphasize pulling it, nailing down your ASO (title/keywords especially) and trying to beat that 70 downloads a day. Get it back to 350+ while it’s fresh. It is definitely doable, we all don’t hit a homerun the first time at bat. By re-releasing with some new ASO should hopefully give you some more firepower.

    Paid version sounds great. Again, wait for a week or 2 after it’s approved to see if the ASO kicks in any better than the LITE. Shut, you could even release it as FREE to see if you’re on the right track then switch it back later. Figure out how to release it, get consistent downloads, then hit it with some firepower 🙂

  • Mark February 7, 2015

    Thanks for the feedback! Glad you got something out of it.

    I absolutely believe in cross-promotions! Its so easy to do and almost all ad networks are setup now days to get solid results. Due to time/effort, I only cross-promote from our most popular and relevant app traffic. I strongly believe in cross-traffic from LITE -> PRO, especially with the utility, entertainment, photo/video categories.

    I stay away from mailing campaigns unless I’m dealing with a whale. If you’ve got an app with something like parse and a growing list, there’s TONS of potential (Carter will be releasing one of these “whales” soon with a walkthrough of how he killed it using these techniques. I’m excited, it’s going to be a game-changer for a lot of people).

    Other things I make sure to nail while launching are reviews. Best is word by mouth, but there are some powerful review services out there too. Make sure it’s not a sketchy service and reviews are legit. I don’t recommend spending too much money on CPC/CPI campaigns until you at least know what you’re dealing with. Social Media campaigns can be strong too. But most important thing to nail during a launch are analytics and ASO.

    Rock n’ Roll! Have a great weekend!

  • Fred February 8, 2015

    Awesome post, thanks for that Mark!

    You mention ” If we purchase 10,000 installs at a $0.10 CPI”, could you explain how and where to purchase installs at such a low cost ? I tried Facebook campaigns targeting custom audiences but could only get it down as low as $0.54…

  • Shili February 10, 2015

    Hi, thanks for this post. I have the same question as Fred. Can you explain a bit more about this 10000 installs

  • Jochen February 10, 2015

    Like Fred, I’m also wondering where you’re buying installs at $0.10 CPI. The cheapest I know is Chartboost at $0.50 for non-US and $0.90 for US. But there’s not so much traffic at those prices.
    In the past, I’ve bought some incentivized traffic from Tapjoy at $0.10. But that’s a waste of money, these users only open your app once to get their reward.

    Also the 500/day in organic downloads from ASO seems a bit unrealistic these days. None of my games get there, and only 5 out of 75 get over 100/day. A year ago it was possible, but these days I keep getting my best keywords removed…

  • Mark February 10, 2015

    @Fred Shili Jochen –
    Great conversation starter guys! This is a great topic to discuss. I used $0.10 as an example because it is the easiest to calculate. So you caught me red-handed. Yes $0.10 CPI campaigns are tough to come by.
    @Fred – Yes, I believe the CPI for Facebook is around $0.50.
    @Jochen – Correct. Those numbers for Chartboost sound accurate and Tier 1 is the most expensive on all platforms. I have also purchased CPIs from Tapjoy for I believe around $0.10. I agree with you Jochen, my experiences with TapJoy have been bad in the past. I’m hoping they have upped their game since then. TapJoy has been traditionally used for straight installs. Nothing more than a download # and a means to get on the Top Charts. On the flip side, Facebook offers more quality users because of their ability to target specific demographics (hence the higher CPI).

    So how can we get lower CPIs?
    One option worth exploring is to contact your ad network personally. If you’re sending a lot of traffic their way, open up some communication. Also reachout to new ad networks. A couple times a week I get an email from a new ad network throwing a promotion at me. Today I got one offering $25 ecpm.

    Thanks for your comments. Cheers,


  • Rob February 12, 2015

    I used to get traction from incentivised downloads but when I submitted my last update Apple rejected it so now I’m stuck. I either do the update with new features but lose the incentives for reviews and downloads of my other apps or let the app sit as it is. Some people are finding it too hard (some love it) but the ones that can’t get past the first levels give it bad ratings so I wanted to update the help and give players more coins to start with.

    Am I the only one getting updates knocked back for incentives? Apple approved them in the past for this game so it’s frustrating to now be told to remove them. What’s going on? Is Apple getting tougher?

  • Rob February 12, 2015

    And yes, there are times I do feel like Apple hates me! I keep getting games knocked back with incentives that other games have and with shorter titles that are in good English so they aren’t nonsense keyword stacked games. Very frustrating.

    What’s the state of play with incentivized reviews and downloads on Amazon, Google Play and Windows? Are they removing them too or is it only Apple that are cracking down?

    It’s hard to compete against the established apps when they have all these things built in and we’re being made to remove them.

    I’ve had apps approved and then less than a month later when I go to make changes Apple wants the incentives removed. GRRRRR!

  • jessica March 17, 2015

    hey this was a great read for someone new like myself! THANK YOU !

    This last year i decided to take my investment and go with a company and create a game.
    i’ve been doing some research and now i am feeling a little silly.
    I paid 17k for my game to be developed and placed in the market…
    maintenance is around $250 a month and server space is between 400-$2200 a month depending on how many users a month…
    does that seem right ???

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas March 17, 2015

    @jessica – No, you’re getting ripped off unless the game is huge. What’s the itunes link?

  • jessica March 17, 2015

    it isn’t out yet , it comes out the end of April

  • Matt April 6, 2015


    May be a tough question to answer here given all the various factors that go into it, but I’m just looking for a general number/estimate: I am making a simple, but very addicting game app-If I had 25,000 DAUs spending roughly 3,4, 5+ minutes in the app every session, and I monetized strictly via advertising (as opposed to iAP) with banners/interstitials, roughly how much could I expect to revenue per day? Across both iOs and android collectively.

    Or another way to pose it: how many DAUs do I need to revenue $300, $400, $500+ a day?

    Any estimate/help/answer is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Mark April 6, 2015

    @Matt –

    Love the specifics you’ve included in the question and that you have a PRE-DEFINED GOAL for what you want. 25,000 DAUs is a solid number and an accomplishment in its own. Retaining users for 3-5+ minutes is an even bolder task. Best types of games for these types of numbers are campaign/role play (like Clash of Clans) and puzzles. Checkout this Clash of Clans chart:

    The ARPU from Clash of Clans is roughly $0.31 (Revenue/User). Obviously it’s nearly impossible to replicate the same outcomes as Clash, but you can get an idea of revenue for gamers of this magnitude and gaming model. If you had the same model, brand and users with 25,000 DAU, you could potentially receive over $7,700 a day.

    You mentioned leaning more towards ads in your game rather than IAPs like Clash of Clans. This is a solid technique I mentioned in the post with the example of Crossy Road. Gamers like playing for free, especially when their gameplay isn’t interrupted with having to spend money or upgrade. JUST LET ME PLAY!!! Ads help make that possible for us developers, and the users sometimes aren’t even aware of the subtle ads like banners that are outside the gaming UX.

    If you’re planning on going big (which it sounds like you are), I’d recommend publishing a couple ‘test’ apps in different accounts other than your master. Have your coder integrate multiple ad networks in your code (AdMob, Applovin, Xplode, Chartboost, etc). Test each ad networks specifically for revenue generated and ecpms. Run several targeted ad campaigns to different demographics you think your app is made up of. Then analyze the data and come up with a solid proven gameplan for your master app. Remove the others from the Store and publish the app in your master account and put it in 5th gear for your launch.

    As revenue and downloads start coming in, again measure your users and revenue. If you’ve ‘tweaked like a freak’ and your app is making as much RPU as possible, start testing paid traffic campaigns. Finally contact the ad networks you are using (even the ones you are not) and tell them your numbers. They’ll be thrilled and throw users your way that will convert and pump up your ecpm.

    Pumped to learn more about your app and experience. Don’t forget to throw a link so I can check it out and review it.


  • Jochen April 6, 2015

    @Matt Mark – As an alternative to Mark’s suggestion of launching test apps, you can also do a soft launch of your app. This means releasing it in 1 or a few countries only, usually Canada, Australia or the UK. Most big developers do this. Measure everything and tweak where necessary, so you have all relevant data and the perfect setup before the global launch.

    During soft launch, it’s a good idea to be able to tweak stuff remotely, e.g. toggling ad networks or change certain game parameters from a settings file on a server.

    If you acquire those 25000 DAU in a short timeframe, I would guess your ad revenue could be $2000/day. But your DAU and daily revenue will probably start dropping after a while. Also, please let us know how you acquired that many users! 🙂

  • Mark April 7, 2015

    @Jochen – 100% agree.

  • Andrew Meservy April 21, 2015

    Thanks for the info! We recently launched on Android with no marketing money. This is our first application, and yes analytics are quite interesting. Our app however is not doing so well. If you would not mind, check it out, and send me an email with suggestions.

    I am a developer, not a marketer. Also I am only 15 years old, and this has it’s problems too, especially as far as the time and resources that I have. I have quite a story of how I got into programming. At this point, I am trying to make the money back that I spent on the project. (A couple hundred dollars, spent on graphics, sounds, and dev licences) We have not yet launched on IOS (As they are very… special).

  • Mark April 21, 2015

    @Andrew – Wow! Very good stuff! I sent you a brief introductory email but to recap, don’t get frustrated! You’ve overcome the toughest battle of getting an app in the Store! And more importantly, the amount of knowledge learned through this experience is going to save you tons of money down the road.

    I know you’re a developer not a marketer. But it is important you treat the 2 as equals. They both rely on one another. You need to market your game to get downloads, and code it well enough to keep people around. You’re reviews are OUTSTANDING! So it looks like the development part is good as is for now. Now lets rev up the marketing and get some downloads. How can you tweak your icon, title, screenshots, and description to better engage your audience? Your screenshots in specific are of incredible importance. Make sure they are clear and engaging. Ask your friends if they think they look cool or if they are confused.

    Easiest way is to mix things up. Change title, tags, icons, screenshots… anything you can think of. Then measure again and see what changed. Once you collect more data and start measuring costs VS revenue per user you can rely on traffic campaigns.

    Another thing to think about is maximizing your resources. If you’re not happy with your results thus far, research skinning techniques. Basically, use the same code and make changes to the resources so the code remains the same but your theme is completely different. This way you maximize exposure by targeting new audiences. Checkout this post for some example:

    Keep rocking!

  • Mar June 28, 2015

    Hi Mark,
    Great post. What do you mean exactly in your first comment with:
    “I’d recommend letting your app sit in iTunesConnect before releasing, or better yet release and then pull it right away”.
    Do you mean that we release the app, then, remove it? I’m having serious problems with my last app launch. I have several photo apps that made great launch numbers and I don’t understand this app’s behavior. In day 1 there are almost cero downloads, and the app is at the bottom in almost every keyword. And almost all the keywords I used are really good (good traffic, less than 100 competitors etc). Do you think there is a problem with Apple processing my data? Thanks for your help! Mar

  • Mark June 29, 2015

    @ Mar – 100 competitors is a lot. Firstly, are you measuring keywords independently? Or as phrases (long tail). When researching long tail keywords, I enter the whole phrase (usually 3-8 words) and shoot for 6 or less competitors. I never use phrase or keyword with 15 or more competitors.

    There are lots of reasons your photo app is not as successful as previous versions. Apple may have flagged the app because you have several similar appsnin the same account.

    I do recommend switching up your ASO. Title primarily. What I meant by ‘letting your app sit in iTunes Connect’ is that when you are doing consistent ASO updates (every 2 weeks or more), I’ve had a lot of developers inform me that their NEW keywords are not indexed until a week or two after the app is released. This doesn’t help download numbers and makes it difficult to measure new ASO. To avoid this problem, I recommend uploading the new version a week or 2 before it is released. Or waiting a month before trying a new update, to account for the index time.

  • Mar June 29, 2015

    Hi Mark, Thanks for your reply.

    Not all the keywords have 100 competitors. However, I’m just comparing my ASO tactic with my former apps. I assure you that this app’s keywords are far better. My other apps had more than a thousand downloads in day one (that is, yesterday for my new app), and the new app has less than 50. This app is like “frozen” from the first hour. It has been for almost 36 hours on the App Store and its keywords rankings remain really low. I know that in the first hours apps go up and up in the keyword rankins until they reach their first days position. My app entered in between the middle and the bottom of every keyword and remains there like “frozen”.
    Maybe Apple has flagged my app as you say, which would be REALLY UNFAIR. I have two other apps with the same code. They are very similar, yes, but this one has TOTALLY different graphics. Graphics are the essence of photo apps, they are not just the “skin” of the app. I put a lot of effort in my graphics and I don’t believe my apps should be banned as if they were rubbish. Please, take a look to my app and you’ll know what I am talking about:

    I know I sound a bit desperate, but I have spent almost all this year on this app and it’s heartbreaking to see these results.

    What should I do with my app? Would it be useful to update it once and again following your advice of keywords with less competitors?. Would it be better to change the app to another account (I’d prefer not to do this, honestly).

    Thanks a lot for your time and your advices. I really appreciate it 🙂

  • Meet Dhruv December 1, 2015


    I am planning to make a free app on google play store. The concept of the app is social. However i don’t have any idea about couple of things. Firstly on a google app how much downloads(specifically in India) we required to start earning. Secondly as i described its a social app and its totally free then how the earnings can me measured? Is it the number of viewers checking the apps on android or is it the number of downloads? What will be the cost on putting my app on a play store?

  • Lee December 9, 2015

    Great post. I just released an exciting app yesterday on the App Store and only got 100 downloads on the first day with 8 5 star positive reviews. I’m finding it difficult to equate if this is good or bad numbers. I think our app is very niche with no other app with similar functionality.

    Check it out:

    We have spent hours on ASO and description including honing our story, video and screenshots. We did some small marketing task pre launch but we think no one gets our app because it’s not been done before.

    What do you think?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 9, 2015

    @Lee – a few things:

    1. Who are you targeting? I’d really dial in your ideal customer. Let’s say it’s a commuter who is going from the suburbs to the city in the USA – I’d think about doing a more zoomed out version of the map to show a location they’d recognize. You also are missing a big opportunity by only having white space on your screenshots – they should be in traffic or lost at night or something.

    2. Your screenshots are repetitive. Make sure each one is very unique.

    3. You need to tell more of a story. Right now you’re just telling me what the app does – what problem is this solving? I have no issues with turning on a podcast then opening up Waze. Why is your app better?

    4. This app is a good example of “conversion” optimization vs keyword optimization. This means you should measure the conversion rates in your iTunes Connect account to see what % of people who see your iTunes page actually download it. If you can improve that, you’re onto something. I posted about this a while back in the Bluecloud Select FB group and there has been a ton of discussion about it if you’re interested.

    Good luck!

  • Shine February 27, 2016

    Hello. Guys plz help me out. Im new in developing so dnt know much.
    I publish my app on andriod, six days back. Only 17 downloads. In applovin with 2500 clicks i only earned $4. Number is very less.
    This is my first app. How i can increase revenue. Target the deadly dinosaur by milestones solutionz.

  • The Fallen Games Studio March 9, 2016

    Hey, I’m reading a lot about advertising my app with a low budget. Thanks for your insights. They’ll help for sure.

  • Dave June 29, 2016

    Sorry for the late response but I was wondering what you guys think of advertising by keyword that Apple will be starting this fall. That sounds like another game changer to me especially for niche apps aimed at highly targeted audiences. Anybody know ball park numbers on what that is going to cost?


  • Pworld October 22, 2016

    Dear Sir,

    I found your post very usefull. I have a question about my first Android App (a racing game). It will be released making a lot of marketing error and after 1 month from release it was still stuck at less then 200 download from ufficial google store and 1000 on unofficial.

    I start working on other projects since I noticed that this App get more then 10000 download on a specifc day. 1000 from google and ther rest from an unofficial store. I discovered my app was select as game of the day on this store.

    After this event it get a stable 500 dowload x day (but only 20-30 fron official store).

    At the moment I see revenue much lover than 0.4$ per user, it get about 0.01$ per user, click on ads are payed only 0.03$ (monetize trough asmob)

    In your opinions this app is somenthing I shoukd work on or it is better to go to the next project? What can I do? Why does click are payed so low?

    Regards and thanks

  • Elin November 11, 2016

    Whoa, your numbers are all wackadoo! A typical app of ours is worth $0.06 per download – I think that is pretty normal for your average reader who isn’t in the casino niche. If I pay $1000 for 10,000 downloads I will lose about $500!
    Plus who gets $0.10 CPI these days?? You’re dreaming! 😀

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas November 12, 2016

    @Elin – maybe I just have better dreams:

  • RayVin December 18, 2016

    Hey bluecloudsolutions I’m a teenager who follows alot of your blog posts and I got a rather large question for you if you dont mind answering. I have an app (IOS Game ) with great potential 72 % conversion rate. In less than a month with ZERO marketing or any push whatsoever besides some (minor keyword changes) ASO my app ranked top 90 in its game category in the U.S. AppStore with over a thousand downloads now. Stupid of me not to have invested in marketing to uphold my ranking and grow forward, I lost my spot. I attribute my apps success to its unique and creative nature. Eager to get back to my spot and even higher, I think all i really need to do is a burst campaign to get downloads fast and get back to ranking top 50. I think this time with paid marketing and all I might be able to rank even higher than the top 20 competitors in my category (trivia/word). What do you think I should do? Do you think my app is something I should work with and continue to invest in? does it seem like something that could be extremely succesfull? My ARPU is around $0.15 and my app had made me 100 dollars in 3 weeks all of this with ZERO push or marketing of any kind. Do you think I have something profitable here? I truly believe my app is better than the top apps in my category that are making thousands and thousands of dollars a month. Im confident in my application I think I could pull those numbers as well. What do you think? would love to have your thoughts on this. Much Love from Toronto.

  • Campbell September 11, 2017

    I own the app Flop for Iphone. I get about one or two downloads a day. We’ve been launched for three months and almost have 500 downloads. It’s a dating app and the numbers sound so weak but people use it everyday and it’s only getting more and more users. But if I compare it to your summary I should just trash it.. but I’ve had two big investment offers.. I don’t know why I don’t get big download because I make good impressions on the App Store like 1850 or so in a small amount of time. I don’t understand. Ton of app units to over a thousand but still under 500 users right now… check it out for yourself. Flop Dating

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas September 12, 2017

    @Campbell – how are you monetizing your app? The good news is investors are already interested in your app. They’re most likely more interested in your traffic (users) than your product. The 2 things I would work on if I were you:

    1) Pump up your marketing efforts. If sounds like you’re relying solely on ASO and organic downloads. Have you tried creating content, paid traffic, advertising, affiliates, partnering with influencers, etc?

    2) Start collecting user emails and building a backend. You can increase your RPU by creating offers and products outside the app you can sell to your users. Especially this demographic.

    Keep us posted and email me directly at for more questions.

  • ludo king October 24, 2017

    Wow – what an informative blog site – i need to spend more time here and intend to do so

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