Study: ‘Short-Term Hype is No Guarantee for Long-Term Returns’ With App Sales
We get a lot of “pimp my app” emails here at Macgasm, a lot more than we can actually keep up with on a day to day basis. While a lot of them are great, there’s also a lot of them that are pretty mediocre. Most developers seem to equate app hype with guaranteed monetary gain in the short-term. Some even seem to think that the answer to their monetary woes is to create an app, pimp it up in the short-term, and then move on to then next great idea (Got Milk anyone?), and then keep cashing out as quickly and regularly as possible. While we’ve always had a gut feeling that’s probably a bad idea, we’ve never actually had any concrete evidence to suggest exactly how short-term apps compare to long-term apps on the App Store when it comes to revenue.
A site called App Annie has put together a study that tries to shed some light on whether or not a short-term PR blitz to generate hype for an app will outperform a long-term application on the App Store.
In short, as you would expect, the answer is a giant nope:
[quote]Such short-term, hyped-up games are like fireworks that explode with downloads, gain all the attention but then fizzle and fade away into thin air … In respect to the individual apps that made the most money, the best performing “long-term” game made 83 percent more than the best “short-term” game. [/quote]
App Annie qualifies their terms, and the differences in definition between a short-term and long-term game, so you should definitely head over there and read the study in full before commenting and speculating on the results.
We would like to say, however, that if you’re the type of person who pivots from one idea to another faster than the average development house, you’re probably in for a rude awakening when it comes time to count your money at the end of each month. I never really saw the point in chasing flash-in-the-pan ideas for a quick payout, and this study seems to reaffirm my thoughts on the matter. Building something to last will always pay out more in the long-run than building something for the sole concept of selling quickly and moving on to the next big thing. In short, stop producing mediocre games, apps, and products, and start thinking long term. Apparently you stand to make about 83 percent more money that way. Who wouldn’t love 83 percent more money?