Tracking Sales, Ranks, Top Charts, and Featured Apple TV Apps

Track Apple TV apps with appFigures

Last week the new Apple TV started shipping to consumers. With sales expected to exceed 20 million units, developers haven’t missed a beat, launching more than 1,000 apps for the new hardware. And we’re barely a week in!

We rolled out support for tracking downloads and revenue for Apple TV apps last week, and today we’re adding hourly rank tracking, global top charts, and featured app tracking for Apple TV apps, giving developers precise competitive information in near real-time.

Track hourly ranks and top charts for Apple TV apps with appFigures

In addition to tracking downloads and revenue, we’re now also tracking hourly ranks, top charts, and featured apps from the new Apple TV App Store. Ranks and top charts are available for all categories (including Top overall, Entertainment, Games and all 16 games subcategories), all list types (including free, paid, and grossing), and all countries. With these additions, Apple TV apps can now be tracked with the depth and flexibility you’re used to for your other iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows apps.

To track your Apple TV apps simply link your iTunes Connect account. If you already have it connected the new apps should be added automatically for you and included in all reports.

Happy tracking!!

Talking Trends: The Rise of the “Middle Class” Of App Developers, With Martin Macmillan of Pollen VC

For the second installment of this series, we chatted with Martin Macmillan, CEO and Founder of Pollen VC. Pollen VC is a financial tech platform that gives mobile developers early access to their app store revenues. Martin shares his take on the funding gap in the app stores and why he thinks the rise of a “middle class” of app developers will be beneficial for the industry.

Why was Pollen created?

I first experienced the “funding gap” myself after co-founding Soniqplay, a music remixing app company. We found that it could take anywhere up to 60 days for the app stores to pay out on our sales revenue, and this made it very difficult to build our user base and grow the company.

I looked for a solution with some traditional invoice discounters, but I found that they just couldn’t get their heads around the way the app stores work. Traditional invoice discounters are pretty hung up on the fact that there is no paper invoice from a digital store, even though you can readily access all the required sales reporting electronically.
It was incredibly frustrating because we knew the sales revenue was there, we just couldn’t get hold of it, and meanwhile we couldn’t pull together external funding for our user acquisition campaigns.

However, prior to Soniqplay, I had worked in investment banking as a bond trader, so I understood how credit risk assessment works and that the app store platforms – i.e. Apple and Google – are some of the safest credit risks in the world. I realised there must be a way to link the old world of finance with the new world of digital marketplaces, and help developers plug the funding gap. This is where the idea for Pollen VC came from.

What challenges keep you up at night?

Getting the word out there! Pollen VC is a disruptive funding model for app user acquisition, so our biggest challenge is education. Many indie developers are a little worried when you talk to them about financial issues and many see the mechanics of app promotion as a black box – they think marketing is a dark art so they are put off. It’s part of our job to get them through the difficulties of launching their app or game, and one of the benefits of using Pollen is that it can provide the financial breathing space for a developer to test and hone their monetization and user acquisition strategy, especially during a Beta launch, because they can self-fund this with their own sales revenues.

How does Pollen utilize data to empower developers?

We utilize data in everything we do. Pollen’s core service bases credit assessments on sales data taken directly from the app stores, and this feeds into our customer dashboard where developers can see how much sales revenue is due from the app store. They can then see how much is available to spend, and decide to either take the cash out each week, or recycle their sales into their choice of ad network. We work with many of the leading mobile ad networks such as Facebook and Tapjoy to make it easier for developers to set up accounts which are funded with the developer’s sales revenue, rather than relying on ad network credit lines or raising additional equity. This empowers developers to do user acquisition campaigns, which they may have struggled to fund otherwise.

Lastly, what trends occurring right now in the app store ecosystem are most exciting to you, and how do you think they will pan out?

We’ve seen an emerging “middle class” of mobile developers – this is a segment of the app store which might not see overnight millionaire success or hold the top rankings of the charts, but they are making anything from $5,000-$500,000 per month. We looked at data from September 2014 to April 2015 and noted that there was an increase in the number of developers earning between $5,000 and $500,000 per month, which can only be good news. I think that the app store economy is stabilising, you’ll see fewer and fewer overnight millionaires, and the current set of big hitters will eventually loosen their monopoly on the top spots as their audience growth plateaus. The so-called “middle-class” of app developers will grow as they take advantage of niche audiences and gain better understanding of those customers over time. These are the businesses Pollen VC is helping to grow.


Thanks to Martin for providing us with some more insights on Pollen VC, and how app owners can resolve the funding gap in the app stores.

Check out all Talking Trends posts for more industry interviews.

Martin has 20 years’ experience in launching and building technology businesses in FinTech, music and media sectors, and a prior career in Investment banking as a bond trader. Prior to Pollen, Martin was CEO at Soniqplay, CEO at Level Four (acquired by clear2pay) and a Director of UBS in London, where he ran the short term credit trading group and conceived and delivered UBS’ first client-facing electronic debt trading platform.

Talking Trends: Serialized Content and Rewarded Ads, With Adam Ben-David of Supersonic

Talking Trends is a new series of short interviews where we’ll be chatting with our fellow industry folk about the trends and opportunities they’re seeing in the app economy, and how the solutions they’re building empower app makers.


For the first installment of this series, we talked with Adam Ben-David, Head of Publisher Operations at Supersonic. Supersonic helps developers monetize their apps and advertisers to acquire new users effectively. Adam shares his views on the challenges of the market and why he thinks serialized content might be the key to success in the app stores.

Why was Supersonic created?

Supersonic was born with an overarching agenda to help developers grow their businesses. Every facet of the company and team member is passionately focused on this goal. It’s woven into our DNA.

The power and reach of mobile is disruptive. It has paved the way for developers to reach global audiences at the click of a button. But as the landscape becomes increasingly competitive and cluttered, managing growth becomes an issue for many. We believe the mobile community would be nothing without the developers that support it. We do our part by empowering them with the tools to help maximize and sustain revenue. Through Supersonic’s Supply Side Platform and Ad Mediation platform, developers are boosting their advertising and user acquisition efforts across all their applications — generating fresh, new monetization opportunities.

We work with some of the largest app publishers in the industry, but even our smallest indie developers report success and growth. This is exactly why we were created.

What challenges keep you up at night?

We are constantly thinking of new ways to help our partners build bigger and better products. May it be new and engaging ad formats or deeper insight into acquiring quality users, we consistently push the envelope in making the developer’s life a much easier one.

At Supersonic, we like to look at the app development process as you would a diamond. A well cut diamond has multiple faces – each equal in importance and reliant on one another to form a full stone. Monetization is just one face of that diamond. User acquisition another. What really keeps us up at night is challenging ourselves to become a contributing factor to the rest of the developer’s life cycle.

How does Supersonic utilize data to empower developers?

Supersonic’s Mediation Platform collects and optimizes data across hundreds of demand sources, helping our users monetize more intelligently. Real-time ad network analysis and automated reports allow developers to be informed of their campaigns while reaching maximum fill and revenue.

Developers even empower us with data. We analyze then optimize first-party information collected through our developer base and plug it back into our platform. This allows us to create better user-targeting schemes that result in higher engagement and acquisition.

Lastly, what trends occurring right now in the app store ecosystem are most exciting to you, and how do you think they will pan out?

We’re currently seeing a rise of serialized content in the app store. Developers realize the loyalty that comes from users who are engaged through a consistent brand. A familiar and consistent design encourages users to look for similar titles, keeping them active within their sub app store ecosystem. The Angry Bird Series does this well.

We’re also experiencing huge adoption of rewarded ads in F2P apps. Rewarded ads offer end users premium content in exchange for viewing an ad in full length. These formats are re-energizing the F2P model. As IAPs decline, developers look for novel ways to generate revenue while exchanging digital goods for users to explore deeper app content. Many of our developers report increased user retention and LTV after the introduction of rewarded video ads.


Thanks to Adam for providing us with insights. Supersonic is one of the 20+ ad networks we’re integrated with. See the full list here.

Adam Ben-David is the Head of Publisher Operations at Supersonic where he helps developers utilize Supersonic’s monetization tools to build and grow their app businesses.

Coming Soon: appFigures Content Pack for Microsoft Power BI

Earlier this week Microsoft officially announced Power BI, a suite of custom dashboards that allows users to plug in data from a variety of sources and visualize it with different types of charts and maps.

We’re excited to announce that we’re working tightly with Microsoft to release a Power BI content pack for appFigures.

A couple of months ago, we announced a similar integration with Adobe, and we are planning to integrate with even more service providers in the future because making data accessible is a very important part of our philosophy.

Philosophy aside, when we first got a demo of the Power BI platform a few months ago we were very impressed. Microsoft is known for building enterprise software, full of buttons and ribbons and clutter, but Power BI seems to disobey the legacy and instead provide a smooth experience that offers as much flexibility as it does functionality.

In addition to flexible dashboards, Power BI also offers a natural language search which translates written questions into instant insights. It’s pretty nifty.

We’re currently working with Microsoft to finalize the integration and polish the out-of-the-box experience, and expect the new content pack to be available this summer. If you’re a Power BI user (or feel like signing up for Power BI now – it’s free) and want to help us beta test the integration before it goes live please get in touch.

Heads Up: Issue With iTunes Connect

We noticed a lot of commotion on Twitter this morning about iTunes Connect logging some developers into other developers’ accounts.

It looks like there’s an actual issue with iTunes Connect that Apple is aware of because iTunes Connect has been taken down and is still down as of right now. It’s too soon to know whether any sensitive information was made available.

We take security quite seriously and have stopped syncing with iTunes Connect to ensure we don’t contaminate any accounts unnecessarily. After investigating our records, it looks like our reports were not affected. We only import data that Apple makes available in their sales and financial reports, and at this point it looks like those imported today are not contaminated.

If you do see something odd in your account, however, please let us know.

FYI – iTunes Connect is currently down, so syncing or linking accounts is not possible. We’re keeping an eye on the situation and will post an update once it is back up.

Update: As of 3:30PM EST iTunes Connect is back online.

Uber’s Legal Battles in Germany Drive üBer Downloads in App Store

A recent court ruling in Frankfurt has banned Uber’s most popular service, Uberpop (Germany’s version of UberX), from operating in Germany, claiming it “unfairly competes” with local taxi services.

In June when Uber faced opposition in Europe, it resulted in the app flying up the ranks, so we wondered if this latest incident of free publicity affected the app in a similar fashion. We took a look at the ranks over the past day and saw this suspicion was confirmed:

uber-ranks

It seems that even negative publicity yields some positive results for Uber.

The Other Hyperlapse Rides Instagram’s Coattails to the Top

This past Tuesday, Instagram released Hyperlapse, an app that speeds up and converts videos you take on your smartphone using time-lapse technology. With reports of a similar software, being developed by Microsoft for its GoPro camera and using the same name, we wanted to take a closer look. It turns out that Microsoft and Instagram are not the only two companies to use the name “Hyperlapse”.

An app released by Hieronymus Belt a year prior with the same name came up in the coveted first search result position for the first few days, while “Hyperlapse from Instagram”, billed as such, was #2. We wondered how many people, eager to take Instagram’s new product for a spin, may have accidentally downloaded the wrong app in their haste. We took a look at the charts for this app, which does not convert your own videos, but rather utilizes time-lapse to take you on a virtual tour of streets around the world. Here’s what we found:

hyperlapse-ranks

After the original app skyrocketed up the ranks, it was quickly changed from a free app, to paid (at $.99) in an attempt to capitalize on the free traffic. The following caveat has also been added to it’s description: “Hyperlapse by Instagram is another app which work differently”.

In the past, we’ve seen apps being named after already-popular and successful predecessors (for example, the inundation of apps with “flappy” in their name), in an attempt to ride their coattails to the top of the ranks. However, with this happening in a reverse order, we see that a case can be made for the power of mistaken identity.

Five Apps to Play Ball During the MLB All-Star Game

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game is sure to be action-packed, and emotionally-charged, as it marks the last for baseball legend, Derek Jeter. As preparations begin in Minnesota, make sure you’re ready for the big game with our favorite baseball apps.

  • MLB.com At Bat

    Sports

    With this official app for the MLB, no matter where you are, you’re never far from your favorite team. It provides game highlights and breaking news. You also have the option of accessing premium features for a monthly subscription of $2.99, which allows you to watch every out-of-market game.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play | Amazon

  • MLB.com Home Run Derby ’14

    Games

    This game allows you to choose from home run derby participants between 2010-2014. Compete against people around the world in 10-player live multiplayer games, or get some practice in against the AI players in single-player derby mode.

    View on: iTunes

  • Team Stream by Bleacher Report

    Sports

    Although it’s not solely for baseball, Team Stream give you scores, stories, and tweets for your teams via push notifications, so you can stay current on what’s going on, even if you can’t watch the game.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play | Amazon

  • At the Ballpark

    Sports

    If you’re planning on going to the game, but aren’t familiar with the Twin’s turf, Target Field, be sure to download the MLB.com At the Ballpark app, for the rundown on all the interactive ballpark attractions and features, which utilize iBeacon technology. You can also post pictures at the park, and share on social media.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play | Amazon

  • CBS Sports Fantasy

    Sports

    Ensure your fantasy team is stacked with All-Stars this season. CBS Sports Fantasy provides season projections, player updates, a draft companion, and everything else you need to manage your team on the go.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play

10 Apps for a Fun and Safe 4th of July Weekend

The unofficial kick-off to summer is finally upon us. No matter how you choose to celebrate this Independence Day, we’ve created a list of our 10 favorite apps to have fun and stay safe this weekend, and throughout the summer.

  • Fireworks Artist Pro

    Entertainment

    What would July 4th be without fireworks? For those of you planning on traveling someplace this weekend without a fireworks show (or for those stranded on the West Side of Manhattan), the “Fireworks Artist Pro” app allows you to create your own. With a variety of backdrops and cityscapes, you don’t have to leave home to watch fireworks around the world.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play

  • Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App

    Reference

    With fun in the sun comes the looming danger of exposure to harmful UV rays.This app helps find a healthy balance of sun-time, by calculating how long your skin can be exposed to the Sun without burning based on your skin type, location, time, and the level of SPF you might be using.

    View on: iTunes

  • GrillTime

    Food & Drink

    GrillTime is the perfect app for anyone playing host this weekend. It advises on cook-time based upon the type of food, thickness and “level of doneness”. The app will also automatically alert you when it’s time to flip, and when the meat (or vegetable) is fully cooked, so you don’t have to neglect your guests in between.

    View on: iTunes

  • Declaration for iPhone and iPod Touch

    Reference

    If you’re feeling inspired and looking to explore the history behind the holiday, be sure to check out the Declaration app. It also provides historical notes, for an in-depth look at the text that started it all.

    View on: iTunes

  • Firework Fever

    Games

    Help Pyro Pete collect his fireworks and get him to the venue on time to set off his fireworks display in this fun, seasonally-appropriate game.

    View on: iTunes

  • America’s National Parks

    Travel & Local

    Your guide to everything the National Parks have to offer. You’ll find information on park activities, as well as park maps and topographic maps for hiking. It also has integrations with Flickr and Google, so you can record your memories. Just make sure the tour for each park is loaded beforehand, so you can use them offline.

    View on: Google Play

  • Beach Safety

    Education

    This free app’s main goal is to educate users on rips and currents, and how to safely avoid the danger of getting caught in them while enjoying the beach. There’s also some helpful information about treating jellyfish and blue bottle stings, and info on sharks.

    View on: iTunes

  • Roadtrippers

    Travel

    This app is all you need for that epic road trip you’ve been dreaming about. Not only can you plan and sync trip itineraries with your co-pilot, but you can also save places to bucket lists, discover places around you and view details while you are on the road. Wherever you’re headed, this app will ensure you enjoy the ride.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play

  • Surf Report

    Sports

    This app is powered by Surfline for the most current info on surfing conditions. It utilizes GPS to find the breaks nearest you, and allows you to also track the swell, tide, wind, etc. It provides a 2-day forecast, so you know what to expect throughout the weekend, and provides easy access to Surfline’s HD Cam, reports and videos.

    View on: iTunes | Google Play

  • 4th of July Coloring

    Entertainment

    A mobile coloring book for children, this app has everything you need to celebrate with red, white and blue. A fun way to keep kids entertained throughout the long weekend.

    View on: Google Play

Funny Yo. Reviews From the App Store

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Yo. has been taking the app store by storm. With $1 Million in funding, and a media frenzy, the social networking app has been ascending the ranks with great velocity. It turns out most people have an opinion about it, so we thought it’d be fun to list of our 15 favorite reviews from around the world. Real or fake, these reviews are a great way to end the week:

    YO.

  • Game changing

    Yo is one of the single greatest communication tools our generation has seen yet, the new phone call, text, Skype etc. is Yo!

    by MCR ALL DAY | United States

    Tweet

  • Just what i needed.

    I feel like im reborn, never in my life an app just translated all my feelings into a coherent sentences.

    by Mauroleon | Mexico

    Tweet

  • Revolutionary

    Science has proven that dolphins are one of the most intelligent mammals out there. Humans teach dolphins how to communicate and train them how to speak. But we never have been able to speak back. Until now.Yo. Has made it possible to finally communicate with dolphins. All you have to do is Yo. Them. They Yo. Back. Now my best friend just got married to a 9 year old male dolphin because of Yo. They are very happy together. Thank you Yo. God bless.

    by Smash hit lover| Mexico

    Tweet

  • Ground Breaking

    Yo is a new, innovative way to keep in touch. It cuts away at all the anxiety of worrying about what to say, and brings conversations down to their bare basics. Yo has changed my life for the better, now I’m keeping in touch with people I haven’t seen in years, and I owe it all to Yo. This app is starting to catch on, and it will spread like wildfire. Spread the word about this ingenious app, and make the world a better place.

    by BirchBook | United States

    Tweet

  • I.

    Since yo. I, again, my life has a meaning.

    by yoblabla | Germany

    Tweet

  • This. Changes. Everything.

    Before this app I was a nobody. Now I’m still a nobody. But I have this amazing app that lets me communicate like never before. I have now overcome my fear of public speaking because there is no need to speak publicly when I can just send “Yo” to people. I look forward to the time when the entirety of the English language is replaced by the word “Yo”.

    by tactical_turtleneck | United States

    Tweet

  • Yo saved my life

    I was in a hostage situation held up in a bnak with 20 other hostages, the protagonist and leader of the bank bust had a phone jammer in which i could not contact the outside world. I found wifi in a corner of a meeting room and Yo’d my best friend who immediatley called the police, showed up and saved the day. I am in debt with my life to yo. It also changed the way i communicate with my friends and family. Thank you Yo. 5 star app. ADD ME @ YOSK

    by FatSackMac | United States

    Tweet

  • Yo I love this app

    Yo is an app that is ages ahead of its time. It offers simple communication at the push of a button. I don’t know how I even communicated before YO!

    by BadBoyBenson | United States

    Tweet

  • In a world…

    In a world where we need an app to do the job of 1980’s technology but dumbed down

    by theguy7 | United States

    Tweet

  • Very cool app.

    A yo, sometimes says it all…

    by Chr. | Germany

    Tweet

  • I.

    I’m from Philly, so saying Yo is very important to me. Thank you, Yo!

    by askrom | Philly, United States

    Tweet

  • I can predict the future with Yo

    Getting YOs from THEWORLDCUP actually come in before they air on the Watch ESPN App. So know I can predict the future. Thank you, Yo!

    by rosskucsera | United States

    Tweet

  • Useless app

    Not sure what it’s meant to do but it seems useless and a waste of time

    by Whycantiusemyname | United Kingdom

    Tweet

  • YO IS LOVE… YO IS LIFE

    Usually I don’t write app reviews, but yo, this app is the next big thing

    by A random review writer | United States

    Tweet

  • ????¿¿??

    isn’t this just like paging someone?

    by Tigerstar3000 | Canada

    Tweet