What’s the Right Role for You?

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about iTunes Connect sub-user roles lately and figured it’d be helpful to map them out so you can choose the role that’s best for you.

What are roles?

Each iTunes Connect sub-user is assigned a role to control what that sub-user can access.  Basically, these are permissions settings that control which reports will be available to that sub-user.

Comparison of available reports:

Role Daily Weekly iAds Financial Payments
Sales Yes Yes Yes No No
Finance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

Er… what to choose, what to choose….

We recommend choosing the Finance role because it will provide more accurate data and will make financial reports available.  If you’re anxious about having an account that makes banking data available, though, you can choose the Sales role–even though we’d never abuse your trust!

Here’s the difference in the accuracy of the two roles: the Sales role reports base your revenue on downloads, so it’s telling you how much money you will probably make.  The Financial role reports base your revenue on payments, so it’s telling you exactly how much you’ve made.  It also tells you other useful financial information like the exact exchange rate used at the time of payment, giving you dead-on numbers for the money that you’ve made.

OK, gotcha–so how do I assign a role?

  1. Log in to your iTC account.
  2. In the lower-left of the welcome screen, click on the “Manage Users” icon.
  3. Choose “iTunes Connect User” on the left.
  4. Click on the “edit profile” button to the right of the sub-user account you’ve created for appFigures.
  5. Click on the “Roles” tab in the top middle of the screen.
  6. Check off either the Sales or Finance option in the column headers, and you’re all set!

If you’ve set up a new user don’t forget to head into your Account > External accounts and simply update your already linked iTunes Connect account with the new user/password.

As always, we’re here to help. So if you have any questions about iTunes Connect roles, linking an iTunes Connect account, or life in general, just contact us.

Why Is There a Difference in Profits Between Daily Reports and Actual Payments?

We’ve noticed that a lot of developers are confused when it comes to understanding Apple’s payment system, and with reason. And while Apple has been very clear that daily/weekly reports should not be used for financial purposes, they never explained why.

We bring you the explanation!

Before we go into the actual explanation keep in mind that financial reports follow a fiscal calendar that is different from the normal calendar. You can see Apple’s fiscal calendar for 2010 here.

So here’s the big difference:

Daily/weekly reports record downloads as they happen, while financial reports record credit card transactions as they clear with the bank.

This means that downloads that occur at the end of the fiscal month will be reported in the daily report but not in the financial report, and it can go either way depending on the previous fiscal month.
With that in mind let’s look at actual numbers.

Here’s real data for the fiscal month of Aug. 09 (8/2 – 8/29).

Here’s a comparison of estimated vs. actual profit for the data above:

Profit (from daily): $7,739.90
Actual Payment: $7,767.00
Difference: $32.90
Last 3 days: $30.80

* These results may be a bit skewed because the app was featured early in the month.

Conclusions:

  1. Credit card charges may take more than a day to clear.
  2. There’s a delay between when a download occurs to when it is posted.
  3. Because of 1 and 2, downloads that took place over the last 3-6 days of the fiscal month may not count towards that month’s payment.
  4. This results in a difference in profit of the total of the last 3 – 6 days of the month

Feel free to share your story by commenting.

The App Store Is Crazy, Certified Crazy!

We couldn’t help but notice our community being all a-twitter about huge, unexpected rank changes in the last two days. We thought we’d break out the old calculator and examine it a little bit.

As you know, appFigures tracks top-200 ranks in App Stores around the world. We took this data and looked at each app’s changes by comparing the hourly change of each app and taking the largest hourly move per day.  We added up all the apps that had a big change > 50 (up or down) and compared those numbers to the same days of last week. The goal was to get a picture of high-magnitude changes in rank, the sort that would seem unexpected. The numbers spoke and told us that something was not right.

Tuesday was slower than usual

Wednesday, and Thursday were crazy!

Let’s get numeric:

During a normal day, 5.77% of apps experience an hourly rank change of more than 50 places (up or down). On Wednesday, that number shot up to over 70%, indicating that it was a particularly volatile day in terms of high-magnitude hourly moves. Thursday experienced similar churn, with nearly 50% of apps experiencing these high-magnitude changes.

Here’s an overview of the last 30 days on the App Store. Look at that NBA-level jump…


Daily % of apps that moved 50 or more places in one hour.

And here’s a direct comparison to last week:


Apps that moved 50 or more positions in one hour.

Then we dove a little deeper into the nature of the changes, taking not only hourly rank movements of 50+, but breaking them down into four groups: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, and 151+ places.  On normal days, 94% of apps see no hourly rank change greater than 50 places. A bit less than 2% see a shift of 51-100 places, and the same for 101-150 and 150+. On Wednesday and Thursday, only about 40% of apps stayed within 50 places, with around 20% seeing a change of 51-100, and likewise for 101-150 and 150+ places. Take a look at the breakdown:

This is what a normal day on the App Store looks like:


Maximum change in rank for 1/25-2/1

This is what Wednesday and Thursday looked like:


Maximum change in rank for 2/3-2/4.

We were puzzled as to why the big movers were distributed relatively uniformly (in that the percent moving 51-100 places ~ 101-150 places ~ 150+ places), rather than showing a more normal distribution, but that’s for another day.

Another peculiarity we found on 2/3 and 2/4 was the average highest hourly rank change per app. That number was consistent around -8 places up until 2/2. On Wednesday and Thursday it jumped dramatically to around +25 places each day. So, though the app store has shown big swings on those two days, an app’s biggest hourly swing is on average 25 places up.

Well that’s it for now, we’ll have some more analysis coming soon.

News From Apple: Get Paid in the Currency of Your Choice. Really

We recently picked up the following nugget of information from Apple’s iPhone developer news:

You Can Now Choose the Currency For Your
App Store Payments

You can receive App Store payments in the currency of your choice. If you would like to change the currency of your App Store payment, go to the iTunes Connect Contact Us module and select the following pull-down menus:

1. Banking/Payments
2. Payment Requirements
3. Wrong bank account currency on iTunes Connect

Up until now we believed Apple avoided handling currency conversions by transferring funds in the region’s currency to the developer’s bank and having the bank do the dirty conversion. This move however, hints that Apple is/will be doing the actual conversion of sales into the target currency before sending it to the developer’s bank.

The big question still remains, when the conversion actually takes place. Some say it happens at the time of the sale while some speculate it happens at the end of the fiscal month. We believe in the latter as it makes more sense from a logistics perspective.

Have any information on the subject? Please share it by leaving a comment.

Frozen App Store Is Starting to Warm Up

After being frozen for more than 24 hours, App Stores across the globe are starting to show signs of life. At around 1pm est we started to detect rank changes in most app stores. Unfortunately that’s not very good news.

While some apps rallied, the trend we observed is for paid apps to either decrease in rank dramatically or drop of completely. This was observed in many app stores around the world, US included. While free apps moved as well there is no clear pattern, which at this point is good news.

With the weekend approaching fast, and paid apps declining without cause, this can spell bad news for developers of all sizes. So once again we’re left crossing our fingers and hoping for good…

How’s your app doing?

Is the App Store Frozen?

Yes it is!

Frozen in time, the App Store has not changed in over 24 hours. Our hourly rank updates show that with the exception of 12 and 6pm (est) yesterday, all app ranks remained the same. Those two updates balanced out the ranks so technically there were no changes at all. Kind of strange, wouldn’t you say?

Our guess is that the App Store we see now is coming from an older cached snapshot while Apple takes the time to make necessary repairs that will prevent future upside-down incidents like the one that happened the night before.

With the weekend being the better part of the week (revenue-wise) for most developers,  a frozen App Store will be sure to have a major revenue impact for developers. Heading into the weekend, we can do no more than cross our fingers and hope that Apple finishes the needed repairs and unfreezes the App Store.

Stuck up high? down low? or nowhere at all? Feel free to share your frozen experience by commenting.

Apple’s Unofficial Fiscal Calendar for 2009 – 2010

If you’re an iPhone developer with apps in the app store you want to know when fiscal months start and end so you can estimate your monthly profit. The problem is that Apple hasn’t published an updated fiscal calendar for 2009 – 2010. So, we took it upon ourselves to fill in the blanks and figure it out.

We’ve updated the “profit by region” report to sport these new dates so you don’t have to worry about them. If you’re still curious here’s what we found.

The calendar’s pattern is simple and follows several basic rules:

  1. Every month starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday
  2. Q1 starts at the end of September
  3. Every quarter starts with a 5-week month followed by two 4-week months

Putting it all together, here’s a calendar for the remainder of 2009 and all of 2010:

2009 Fiscal Calendar

2010 Fiscal Calendar

Keep in mind: This is not an official calendar from Apple. Actual calendar might be different as Apple never ceases to surprise.

Did You Know You Can Use a Sub iTunes Connect Account With appFigures?

Lately we’ve seen a lot of chatter from users who want to enable the auto importing capabilities of appFigures but are hesitant to use their main iTunes Connect username and password because it allows full access to their account.

There is a simple solution – use a sub iTunes Connect account with limited access!

It’s very simple, all you have to do is log into your iTC account and create a sub user account with access only to reports. Then link that account to your appFigures account and you’re all done.

Here’s how you create a sub iTunes account:

  1. Start by logging into your iTunes Connect account and click ‘Manage Users’
  2. Select ‘Itunes Connect Users’
  3. Click the ‘Add New User’ button (blue button – top left corner)
  4. Type in your name and email address (which will become your username)
  5. Check the ‘Finance’ role checkbox (last on the right) and click ‘Continue’
  6. Notifications are not required to make appFigures work, so click the ‘Finish’ button and you’re all set.

Keep in mind, we protect the security and privacy of your iTC credentials (and your other data as well) at all times and have many security measures in place to make sure your data remains private.

If you need more help with using sub iTC accounts feel free to contact us directly.

Updated Exchange Rates

We’ve just updated the exchange rates used to convert profits. Up until today we were using Apple’s (conservative) exchange rates but due to many general requests we decided to start using mid-range exchange rates (provided by Citi Bank via Google) for all conversions.

Keep in mind that actual profits may be different than your appFigures amounts for two main reasons:

1. Exchange rates may be slightly different at the time payment is sent to your bank.

2. There may be fees or other costs required by your bank to receive the transfer from Apple.

appFigures uses the following rates table to convert currencies: (EDIT – Added CAD rates)

USD EUR GBP AUD JPY CAD
USD 0.72228241 0.6084576 1.25628141 96.54373 1.1324
EUR 1.3845 0.8424095 1.73932161 133.6648 1.576188
GBP 1.6435 1.18707114 2.06469849 158.6696 1.83664
AUD 0.796 0.5749368 0.4843322 76.84881 0.899239
JPY 0.010358 0.0074814 0.0063024 0.01301256 0.011802
CAD 0.88308 0.63444213 0.5444725 1.11205138 84.7323

* Profits are converted when a report is generated and not when imported.

Thank you for following up on this @Matt