Sales Tip: Categories in iTunes

scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
So I have been playing around with putting XMB in different game sub-categories. Here's what I have found so far.

First the obvious. Action, Arcade and Adventure are very popular and if you can get in the Top 100 where people can see you on their devices it's great, but it is very competitive and very hard for indie devs like us to get in the top 100 without the marketing $$$ of the bigger firms.

My Experiment:

XMB has stayed in the Top 100 for Racing for the last 13 days. For my second sub category I have been changing it to see how it compares. When XMB was in the 70s for racing it was around 130-150 for strategy and about the same for simulation. The kids category was only slightly better around 120-140. This morning I changed it to board games and it is now around 90 for Racing and 98 for Board Games.

I haven't tried all of the categories, but so far of the ones I mentioned above racing and board have been the easiest to break into the Top 100.

It would be cool if we could come up with a rank ordered list from least competitive to most competitive.


  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
    I just checked my appfigures account and after changing the second category to board my rank in both board and racing went up by 8 spots in both categories. Makes me think that even though XMB is about the farthest thing from a board game it might be helping to have it showing up in the Top 100 of two categories.

    No way of knowing if it is a cause and effect relationship or mere coincidence. If I was looking for an iphone board game and saw XMB I doubt I would buy it. But it can't hurt to have twice the visibility.
  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
    slow but steady increase in rank after switching to board games. The exposure seems to be helping.

    Anybody have experience with other categories that seem a bit easier to compete in?
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    Even though you're ranking higher in other categories, does that mean your sales are better or are they the same?

    I would think your sales would be about the same, but perhaps being more visible in the top 100 in another category would boost your sales :)
  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
    I won't know about sales until tomorrow. I am just assuming that if the rank goes up in both categories right after becoming visible in the second category then it must be selling more than it was when it only showed up in only one category. it still could be due to other factors like people using promo codes that were sent out earlier b/c they are now home from work and just got around to downloading the game, etc.

    I'll report back about sales tomorrow.
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    Cool! Looking forward to seeing how you do! :)
  • JCFordJCFord Member Posts: 785
    So what's the point of putting a racing game in the board game category it a bit underhand! All this is going to make the categories pointless and I am sure at some point apple will stop it.
  • JaxterJaxter Member, PRO Posts: 398
    i am with no marketing in top free Kids in 13 place and in top Free Adventure 22 place
  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
    So I actually had my lowest day of sales yesterday even though the rankings held steady in the top 100. So does that mean everyone in racing and board games had a bad day? Seems like it must.

    @JC - I see what you mean about it being underhanded. I was really just trying to experiment to figure out what is easiest to compete in. I am going to pull XMB out of board games today as it will probably just confuse people. Still not sure what other category to try, but now I know that if I make a true board game app it may have a decent chance of making a bit of money.

    @Jaxter - I have found that free and paid are two completely different ballgames. XMB Lite stayed in the top 100 for Adventure for quite awhile and has now been DLed over 50,000 times. The paid version was not even close when listed in Adventure!
  • JCFordJCFord Member Posts: 785
    @ Scitunes ahhh i see, good luck with the experiment!
  • vegasmike1vegasmike1 Member Posts: 192
    I just want to chime in here, and ask if anyone has any idea of how things move in the app market, I noticed something that is kind of odd, if your app is over 10 megs so it can not be dloaded from the device it has to go through a sync process to your computer, then the amount of negative ratings is very low, so this means people who jump to download and dont really think about it, give negative ratings, but if you look at the new and noteworthy or other top catagories, its seems that MOST of the apps are over that 10 meg threshold. Probably means nothing but you should check it out.

    As far as I can see having done two apps, not with salad that is coming next, that there is no rhyme or reason to anything on Itunes. Apple is so close mouthed that they leave everyone but the very elite from knowing what is going on. That also leads me to believe that probably no body is making any money from this store. I have seen cool games that were fun to play and they get nothing I have seen other games that are total garbage and they make it to NandN or elsewhere.

    So, does anyone have any insight, I am totally clueless? But that might be a personal problem. hehe
  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047

    XMB is 88 in racing and 123 in sports.

    I also think that the extra exposure that XMB got in the board games top 100 may have been out weighed by people being confused and thinking "How the hell is barreling down a mountain in a bus a BOARD game!?" So I switched it out of board games and into sports which means it is only in one top 100 category, but there should be less confusion about what type of game it is.
  • scitunesscitunes Member, Sous Chef Posts: 4,047
    no clue on what apple is ever thinking!

    I am making an average of $23 for the last two weeks without any exposure from apple. I would sure be nice to get noticed by apple in the NandN or hot new games or something.
  • JCFordJCFord Member Posts: 785
    My Princess Phonetics HD jumped in at no.42 in the Education charts this morning, but is slowly falling and is currently at no.92
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