Christmas spike: iOS Downloads and Revenue grew by more than 50%

Next to kisses under the mistletoe and turkeys for dinner, a new Christmas tradition has emerged over the last couple of years: a global spike in download and revenue figures in the app stores. Also this year, Distimo’s AppIQ data shows that this tradition continues for the Apple App Store: the number of downloads rose by 53 percent and the amount of revenue increased by 56 percent.

Although those percentages are impressive, the numbers are lower when compared to previous years. For 2011 Christmas day showed a threefold growth in download volume compared to an average day in December, followed by almost double download figures during Christmas day for 2012. Revenue increased by 70 percent on Christmas day for that same year. Contrary to the figures of last year, the rate of increase in revenue for this year is larger than the growth rate in download volume.

Over 50 percent growth on Christmas Day 2013

Main contributors to this year’s Christmas spike were Western countries. For example: the download volume in the United Kingdom increased by 161 percent on Christmas day. In addition, revenues in the United States almost doubled with a plus of 97 percent in the Apple App Store. In the large Asian app markets like Japan and Korea this trend was hardly visible. Another noteworthy fact of this year’s Christmas is that the increase in paid downloads was higher than the increase in free downloads. Also, the growth in revenue from one-off fees was stronger than the growth of revenue from in-app purchases.

Some publishers planned the release of their apps just before Christmas to optimize their success. Angry Birds Go! by Rovio Entertainment Ltd and Cut the Rope 2 by ZeptoLab UK Limited illustrate the added value of such a strategy. When Christmas arrived Angry Birds Go! reached a fourth position in the free rankings for iPad. Cut the Rope 2 beat the competition to the top position in the paid rankings for iPhone.

For those of you who want to do more Christmas fact finding, Distimo’s leaderboards are a great resource for further research.

And last but not least: Distimo wishes you a cracking New Year’s Eve and all the best for 2014!

Joep Janssen