How to Hit the No. 1 Rank on the iTunes App Store

Item not bookmarked
Resource bookmarked
Bookmarking...
⛏️
Guest Miner:
Sylvain Gauchet
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
💎  x
11

Shamanth Rao (CEO at RocketShip HQ - Mobile Growth Consultancy) interviews Nadav Ashkenazy (GM at SuperSonic Studios - Mobile Games Developer and Publisher) about a blockbuster launch and the relative importance of getting to the top of the App Store.

Source:
How to Hit the No. 1 Rank on the iTunes App Store
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
May 20, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
May 30, 2020
Invite a guest
Unlock 600+ mobile growth insights 💎 - for FREE
💎 #
1

The key to success is in 2 steps:
1. Picking the right title based on marketability and scalability
2. Being sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched

03:08
💎 #
2

More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality. 

06:12
💎 #
3

There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.

07:20
💎 #
4

Evaluation process for marketability:
1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers (experience, market trends)
2. Facebook test to feel both the CPI and quality metrics (retention, play time, etc,) to estimate potential LTV and scalability
3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts (including marketability per channel)

09:15
💎 #
5

Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins? 

13:30
💎 #
6

If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI. 

13:52
💎 #
7

You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.

14:25
💎 #
8

For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.

16:20
💎 #
9

Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.  

17:45
💎 #
10

They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then. 

18:40
💎 #
11

There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient. 

23:20
The gems from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Receive the hottest gems 🔥 (most valuable insights) each month
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

The key to success is in 2 steps:
1. Picking the right title based on marketability and scalability
2. Being sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched

03:08
💎 #
2

More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality. 

06:12
💎 #
3

There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.

07:20
💎 #
4

Evaluation process for marketability:
1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers (experience, market trends)
2. Facebook test to feel both the CPI and quality metrics (retention, play time, etc,) to estimate potential LTV and scalability
3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts (including marketability per channel)

09:15
💎 #
5

Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins? 

13:30
💎 #
6

If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI. 

13:52
💎 #
7

You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.

14:25
💎 #
8

For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.

16:20
💎 #
9

Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.  

17:45
💎 #
10

They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then. 

18:40
💎 #
11

There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient. 

23:20
The gems from this resource are only available to premium members.

Gems are the key bite-size insights "mined" from a specific mobile marketing resource, like a webinar, a panel or a podcast.
They allow you to save time by grasping the most important information in a couple of minutes, and also each include the timestamp from the source.

Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Receive the hottest gems 🔥 (most valuable insights) each month
GET Access
💎 #
1

The key to success is in 2 steps:
1. Picking the right title based on marketability and scalability
2. Being sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched

03:08
💎 #
2

More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality. 

06:12
💎 #
3

There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.

07:20
💎 #
4

Evaluation process for marketability:
1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers (experience, market trends)
2. Facebook test to feel both the CPI and quality metrics (retention, play time, etc,) to estimate potential LTV and scalability
3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts (including marketability per channel)

09:15
💎 #
5

Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins? 

13:30
💎 #
6

If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI. 

13:52
💎 #
7

You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.

14:25
💎 #
8

For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.

16:20
💎 #
9

Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.  

17:45
💎 #
10

They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then. 

18:40
💎 #
11

There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient. 

23:20
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Upgrade to premium to:
  • Unlock access to key insights from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
GET Access

You need to be logged in the community to be able to see the discussion below.
You can also head over directly to this topic in the community

Notes for this resource are currently being transferred and will be available soon.

Key factors to hit #1

5 of Supersonic's games have hit #1 on iTunes in the US in just a few months of the studio's existence.


Hitting #1 is not a goal, but it does mean you managed to get a significant amount of installs in a short time window.

[💎@03:08] The key to success is in 2 steps:

  1. Pick the right title to launch and analyze the marketability potential of the game: will you be able to scale it significantly?
  2. Be sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched


You need to be careful with burning yourself by spending a lot of money on install bursts.


Impact of top charts

Top ranks used to be really important but now it requires more clicks for users to get there (top 3 in a much less visible place).


[💎@06:12] More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality.


[💎@07:20] There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.


Evaluation process for marketability


[💎@09:15]

  1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers based on experience and market trends - looking at the concept, maybe not even a game (idea, video, etc.). It allows to sort out half of the ideas.
  2. Do a Facebook test to feel both the CPI and the retention, play time or other motivation factors. Estimating potential LTV and potential to scale.
  3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts: LTV, marketability with a few different channels, creatives.
  4. If profitable to scale, move to global launch.


The goal is to always be right before moving to soft launch because any game you get there costs you money, focus, time. You want to be as accurate as possible as early as possible.


Estimating the amount of download needed for launch

[💎@13:30] Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins?

  1. After soft launch, analyze data to understand ARPU/CPI and potential in general.
  2. [💎@13:52] If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI.
  3. [💎@14:25] You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.


How to figure out breakdown of paid, organic and cross-promo

During soft launch, try to understand the K factor for organics and how much they should pay for paid installs.


Consider cross-promo as part of paid installs.


[💎@16:20] For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.


Monitoring metrics

In the soft launch they accumulate at least D7 and sometimes D14 or more. These gives you a good indication to your LTV and understanding of your D30.


[💎@17:45] Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.

[💎@18:40] They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then.


Always optimizing towards margins, not to the top of the charts.


How to think about other geos

Besides US, looking at: China, Japan, UK.

Tier 1: Australia, Germany, Korea

Then tier 2 and 3.


For each country they put the attention matching the potential revenue.


Differences Android vs. iOS

There are differences between platforms per games (depending on the fit with users) but they are treating the games the same way (→ margins).


Strategies in post-launch phase

[💎@23:20] There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient.

Can discuss with networks to optimize LTV but on the other side can optimization the bids and creatives for each channel.


Handling UA channels

When launching a game, they are using all the channels.

Title owner gets support from operations for the different channels, but he is the owner and decides how to allocate the resources.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

Key factors to hit #1

5 of Supersonic's games have hit #1 on iTunes in the US in just a few months of the studio's existence.


Hitting #1 is not a goal, but it does mean you managed to get a significant amount of installs in a short time window.

[💎@03:08] The key to success is in 2 steps:

  1. Pick the right title to launch and analyze the marketability potential of the game: will you be able to scale it significantly?
  2. Be sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched


You need to be careful with burning yourself by spending a lot of money on install bursts.


Impact of top charts

Top ranks used to be really important but now it requires more clicks for users to get there (top 3 in a much less visible place).


[💎@06:12] More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality.


[💎@07:20] There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.


Evaluation process for marketability


[💎@09:15]

  1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers based on experience and market trends - looking at the concept, maybe not even a game (idea, video, etc.). It allows to sort out half of the ideas.
  2. Do a Facebook test to feel both the CPI and the retention, play time or other motivation factors. Estimating potential LTV and potential to scale.
  3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts: LTV, marketability with a few different channels, creatives.
  4. If profitable to scale, move to global launch.


The goal is to always be right before moving to soft launch because any game you get there costs you money, focus, time. You want to be as accurate as possible as early as possible.


Estimating the amount of download needed for launch

[💎@13:30] Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins?

  1. After soft launch, analyze data to understand ARPU/CPI and potential in general.
  2. [💎@13:52] If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI.
  3. [💎@14:25] You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.


How to figure out breakdown of paid, organic and cross-promo

During soft launch, try to understand the K factor for organics and how much they should pay for paid installs.


Consider cross-promo as part of paid installs.


[💎@16:20] For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.


Monitoring metrics

In the soft launch they accumulate at least D7 and sometimes D14 or more. These gives you a good indication to your LTV and understanding of your D30.


[💎@17:45] Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.

[💎@18:40] They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then.


Always optimizing towards margins, not to the top of the charts.


How to think about other geos

Besides US, looking at: China, Japan, UK.

Tier 1: Australia, Germany, Korea

Then tier 2 and 3.


For each country they put the attention matching the potential revenue.


Differences Android vs. iOS

There are differences between platforms per games (depending on the fit with users) but they are treating the games the same way (→ margins).


Strategies in post-launch phase

[💎@23:20] There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient.

Can discuss with networks to optimize LTV but on the other side can optimization the bids and creatives for each channel.


Handling UA channels

When launching a game, they are using all the channels.

Title owner gets support from operations for the different channels, but he is the owner and decides how to allocate the resources.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
GET Access

Key factors to hit #1

5 of Supersonic's games have hit #1 on iTunes in the US in just a few months of the studio's existence.


Hitting #1 is not a goal, but it does mean you managed to get a significant amount of installs in a short time window.

[💎@03:08] The key to success is in 2 steps:

  1. Pick the right title to launch and analyze the marketability potential of the game: will you be able to scale it significantly?
  2. Be sophisticated in creative and CPI optimizations once the game is launched


You need to be careful with burning yourself by spending a lot of money on install bursts.


Impact of top charts

Top ranks used to be really important but now it requires more clicks for users to get there (top 3 in a much less visible place).


[💎@06:12] More important than being at the top of the charts: today the organics' "K" factor is more defined by virality which means things like play time, retention, etc. It's more about quality.


[💎@07:20] There is still impact when climbing the ranks but the K factor purely from the charts is not more than 5%, when it used to be between 20-50%.


Evaluation process for marketability


[💎@09:15]

  1. Intuition from publishing managers and game designers based on experience and market trends - looking at the concept, maybe not even a game (idea, video, etc.). It allows to sort out half of the ideas.
  2. Do a Facebook test to feel both the CPI and the retention, play time or other motivation factors. Estimating potential LTV and potential to scale.
  3. Soft launch to convert assumptions into facts: LTV, marketability with a few different channels, creatives.
  4. If profitable to scale, move to global launch.


The goal is to always be right before moving to soft launch because any game you get there costs you money, focus, time. You want to be as accurate as possible as early as possible.


Estimating the amount of download needed for launch

[💎@13:30] Optimize everything towards profit, regardless of rank. It's not about how much to reach top 10, it's about making sure not to spend money that is not needed. If you do make it to #1, could you have made it with better margins?

  1. After soft launch, analyze data to understand ARPU/CPI and potential in general.
  2. [💎@13:52] If going live uncapped when it comes to CPI, you don't want to get more thank 100k installs/day because this should already put you at the top. You could get these installs for a lower CPI.
  3. [💎@14:25] You could get too many installs when reaching #1, in which case you're wasting money. You want to keep the momentum going. Being in the top 3 for 45 days is better than being the top 1 for much less days.


How to figure out breakdown of paid, organic and cross-promo

During soft launch, try to understand the K factor for organics and how much they should pay for paid installs.


Consider cross-promo as part of paid installs.


[💎@16:20] For paid start with the strongest channels (both social and SDK) and use the soft launch period to optimize creatives so you can start global launch with the right creative and right bid set up for all UA channel so you can hit your margin goal.


Monitoring metrics

In the soft launch they accumulate at least D7 and sometimes D14 or more. These gives you a good indication to your LTV and understanding of your D30.


[💎@17:45] Once they are optimizing UA on a daily basis, they're looking at D0/D1/D3 but mostly D0 to be able to react very quickly to trends and changes.

[💎@18:40] They want to react in real-time so they are on almost 24/7. Use a system to have alerts that look carefully for changing trends and usually catch them the day it happens, sometimes the morning after and reacting then.


Always optimizing towards margins, not to the top of the charts.


How to think about other geos

Besides US, looking at: China, Japan, UK.

Tier 1: Australia, Germany, Korea

Then tier 2 and 3.


For each country they put the attention matching the potential revenue.


Differences Android vs. iOS

There are differences between platforms per games (depending on the fit with users) but they are treating the games the same way (→ margins).


Strategies in post-launch phase

[💎@23:20] There is a "Title Growth Manager" (with a team) who is owning both supply and demand: user acquisition and ad monetization. Responsibility is to take from the lab a title with great KPIs to make it a multi-million dollar game. Can close the loop very quickly and be more efficient.

Can discuss with networks to optimize LTV but on the other side can optimization the bids and creatives for each channel.


Handling UA channels

When launching a game, they are using all the channels.

Title owner gets support from operations for the different channels, but he is the owner and decides how to allocate the resources.