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Does being featured by Apple help app sales?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

To what extent does having your app featured by Apple make an impact on sales?

James Thomson: It has a number of impacts, or it has an impact in a number of different directions. One, if you get featured on the store, there is a financial bump that you'll get to that in terms of sales but the bumps are not as big as they used to be. It used to be the case of say there was, I don't know, iOS 8 or whatever, and there'll be a section on the store that was, "Great apps for iOS 8," and there was 20 apps or something. If you got featured on that, that would sit around for weeks and it was really high visibility on the store.

Nowadays, there are features like that and for us anyway, it's not as big, but it's still significant and it's still something that's very nice. Also, there are other things, like there's the app of the day, which we got once a few years ago, which was very nice but when they do that there's a story associated, or there can be a story associated with your app. Then if anyone searches for your app, they'll see not only the actual app, but they'll see the story listed as well. So they can click on that and they can get more information. It's kind of like having a little editorial section on your app.

Paul Hudson: I guess it's the closest we can get to an Apple recommendation, presumably.

James Thomson: I mean there are other things. There is an editor's recommendation or something like that, which we've never got. Not that he's bitter, but I mean there are things like that which add to the store, but it also boosts your visibility slightly more in the surrounding community. So say there was also somebody writing a story about apps that use Siri shortcuts. One of the things they might do for researcher is look at this, if Apple's done a recommended list of apps. They might pick up on that. So there is absolutely no downside to getting featured. There's also no guarantee of getting featured even if you do all this stuff because there's still millions of apps on the store. As an answer to the question, how do you get featured? I don't know because I've never submitted my apps.

"Sometimes somebody will reach out and you do get something called a promotional artwork request, which is when Apple is considering featuring you."

Sometimes I have talked to people at Apple. Sometimes somebody will reach out and you do get something called a promotional artwork request, which is when Apple is considering featuring you.

It's interesting because you get this thing and it's like, “please can you give us 3,000 professional art assets and logos and all this sort of stuff and get it to us in five days." At which point you go, "I don't have any of those things so I'm just going to spend the next five days trying to come up with artwork and screenshots and all these things."

Paul Hudson: Yes, so if folks haven't had one of those before, you get this request from Apple saying, “we want to feature you on the App Store as app of the day or something,” and the artwork should be this big for iPad, this big for iPad portrait, this big for iPhone, and all in the same picture. It takes a bit of thinking to come up with some creative, useful, bright, colorful, attractive branding that would work for that.

James Thomson: It's things like, here are the areas of the image that might have text on it and here's where you should focus your imagery. If you don't have logos and things like that, it is quite a stretch to actually come up with things. I mean, for a calculator as well, it's quite difficult. Other than having somebody standing at a blackboard covered in mathematical symbols, it's hard to communicate much.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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