Developers know the odds of breaking into the top ranks of app stores for newcomers can be pretty slim. Now, thanks to a recent research report, they know exactly how slim.
In a study called "The New Apps In the Crowd," Distimo said that across both Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play, less than five percent of the top 250 publishers were formally unknown entrants. Google had a slightly higher presence of successful upstarts at three percent, while only two percent of those in Apple's App Store were fresh competitors to the Zyngas and Rovios of the top tier players.
Distimo: New publishers represent a small part of the revenue.
"These new publishers represent an even smaller part of the revenue, and show that it really is a tight market," the Distimo report said, while going on to suggest that the process of getting apps into the market may be part of the issue. "The top new publishers in Google Play released an average of six free and/or paid applications on shelves of the store, while the top publishers in the Apple App Store for iPhone released two free and/or paid applications. A plausible explanation is that the review policy of Apple App Store makes it harder for new publishers to release applications."
Though the Distimo findings could be somewhat depressing for smaller and lesser-known "appreneurs," the research indicated that for those who managed to get their foot in the door, there was a lot of opportunity to grow. For example, 17 percent of the top 300 applications in the Apple App Store for iPhone in the U.S. were new applications, and 12 percent of the top 300 applications in the U.S. were new in Google Play. Line Pop, Google Maps and Temple Run 2 all reached more than a million downloads within 24 hours of launch, while Temple Run 2 was also among the apps that generated more than $1 million in revenue within its first week of release. However geography plays a role in the difference between downloads and revenue, Distimo noted.
"The U.S. was responsible for 36 percent of the number of downloads of the Facebook Poke application in the first days. The NAVER applications, Line Pop and Line Patapoko Animal, reveal that Japan is the main contributor of downloads, where 87 percent of the Line Pop downloads were from Japan, for example."
Distimo's report is based on data culled through October 2012 through January of this year via AppIQ, which includes daily estimates of download volumes and revenue for each application.
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