The Price of The Top Grossing iTunes Apps

In response to developer complaints that more expensive apps were getting buried at the bottom of popularity rankings, Apple recently introduced a separate ranking based on revenue. (The Top 100 Paid apps ranks apps are based on number of downloads.) In this post, I’ll validate that compared to downloads, the Top 100 ranking based on revenues does contain pricier apps.

For each decile, I calculated the MEAN price of the Top 100 Apps over the 2 most recent weeks. Notice that for the most recent week, the MEAN price for each decile of the Top 100 Grossing apps is more than $5. In contrast, none of the deciles for the Top 100 Paid apps had a mean of $4 or more. There isn’t much of a relationship between rank and price although there was a slight downward trend in the price of the Top Grossing apps over the most recent week: except for the blip in the 5th decile of apps ranked 41-50, the top deciles tended to have higher MEAN prices.


The same situation holds when one looks at MEDIAN price during the most recent week: each decile of the Top Grossing apps had a MEDIAN price of $3, while no decile in the Top 100 Paid apps had a MEDIAN price of $2.


Unique Apps by Category: About two weeks ago, the U.S. iTunes store crossed 90,000 apps††. Last week, the Travel and Education categories displaced Utilities, to claim spots in the Top 4 largest categories:


(†) I refer to an app as being in the Top N, if it was listed among the N most popular (paid or grossing) apps, sometime during the given week.

(††) Since inception, 90K different apps have appeared at some point in time. Over the most recent week, more than 85,000 apps appeared in the U.S. iTunes store.

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  • This really make seance, in my case, i really think twice before buying and app that cost more than 3 dollars. but if the price is 3 or below I just buy it

  • Top 100 ranking based on revenues needs to be applied to categories and sub categories to really make a difference to more expensive apps climbing the charts, the current method only benefits an app once it is in the overall top 100.

  • MC

    Likely so few developers are making money that Apple is trying to placate them with “See! Some folks ARE making money in the App Store! Don’t give up and go away…please…”

  • Developers will care, because it will give them a better idea on how to price correctly a successful app. Many make mistake on this point.

    We ( were first to announce top grossing apps (a few weeks before Apple with this name). And the reaction was very positive when we did

  • Dave

    For more developers to make money from iphone apps, Apple needs better categories in the app store. People may be more willing to pay higher prices for niche specialty apps, but the categories are way too broad. It should be like Amazon where you can drill down into loads of specialized categories. That would really open things up for developers to target different niche markets and increase money making opportunities, instead of trying to climb into a broad “top 100” list to get noticed.