Search Ads Yearly Report

AppBi 2017-10-11 報告書 2767

Market Research Report of Apple Search Ads


In September 2016, Apple has attracted the attention of numerous developers as soon as launching the Search Ads services. According to AppBi’s data monitoring, at the end of August 2017, there were more than 11 thousand Apps launched Search Ads only in the United States.

In order to enable such developers to have insight into the market of Apple’s Search Ads, AppBi has sorted mass data accumulated for a long time. First of all, the current status of Apple’s app market would be researched; and then, based on actual data about Search Ads apps, regular rules in the Apple’s App Store would be exposed.

Current Situation of App Store

The Number of Apps Launched Monthly

As of September 2017, App Store in the United States has had 1792833 apps according to AppBi Data, and 43038 of them are newly launched in August 2017. Therefore, Apple App Store is still strong attractive for developers of mobile application worldwide.


Fig. above shows the number of new arrivals per month up to now since the operation of Apple App Store (with elimination of apps off shelf). The average number of apps newly launched has been 4 million to 5 million per month since 2017. Among them, the number of August 2016 suffered the lowest situation unusually, while the data in September of the same year witnessed abnormal high. It is suspected that the reason of such phenomenon was the delay of apps audit in the August due to Apple’s internal reasons.

Update of Apps


To ensure the quality of apps in App Store, Apple has been cleaning up “zombie” apps since 2016 September. According to AppBi’s data monitoring, there were about 2000 apps removed by Apple per day on average, with over 1 million eliminated in total. Thanks to such initiative, apps updated in the Apple App Store accounted for more than 50% in the last year.

Apps’ Rate


In App Store, more than 85% of the apps suffer insufficiency in rating, the number of apps with rate equal to or exceeding 4 accounts for 8% of the total. Most apps did not have rate; but if an app has been rated, its probability of rate exceeding 3 is more than 73%.

Proportion of Apps’ Categories


For almost 1.8 million apps monitored by AppBi Data, the proportion of games is about 20% as the largest one. Among 25 categories of apps, the total number of apps for the top 4 categories is 868887, including Games, Business, Lifestyle and Education, accounting for about 48.5% of total apps.

Overview of Developers

The apps above were relied on 438672 developers. 58.9% of developers only launched one app, while 94.6% of developers launched apps equal to or less than 10. Developers were grouped according to the number of apps entering market, and the total number of apps delivered by developers and apps with high rate was counted respectively (rate no less than 4):


There were 32 developers have launched more than 1000 apps, of which the largest number of apps up to more than 7 thousand. The following table lists the number of apps launched by the top 10 developers by quantity, and the number of apps with higher rate.


Analysis on Search Ads Market

Update and Rate of Apps with Ads Service

According to tracking and monitoring the launching of 11808 apps by AppBi Data, the update of such apps with Search Ads service is showed as follows: 87% of apps have been updated in the last year, accounting for 55% of all apps.

Apps of high rate with Ads service account for 50.9% (Rate≥4), while the number is only 8% of all apps.


Proportion of Apps Categories with Ads Service


Fig. above shows the proportion of various Ads services in apps. According to comparison of all apps [Fig. of Proportion] (#Proportion of Apps Categories), it can be found that the categories ranking changes slightly, suggesting that different types of apps have slight difference in participation degree in terms of Search Ads service.


Proportion of various apps with Ads service is showed respectively as follows. Items of Weather, Photo & Video as well as Navigation account for higher proportion, as 1.7%, 1.3%, and 1.2% respectively.


Ads-Words Distribution


As Fig. above showed, vertical axis presents the number of Ads-words accumulated of apps, while the horizontal axis represents the corresponding number of apps of each group. There are 6156 apps with Ads-words less than 100; with the number of Ads-words increasing, the number of apps would be reduced with slowing rate. This enabled very impressive number of apps with numerous Ads-words---with 88 apps having more than 10000 Ads-words in total. Among them, the top one enjoys Ads impression with over 30000 relevant words. Information of top ten apps are provided hereinafter; 6 of them are games.


Ads-Days Distribution


In Fig. above, the vertical axis presents Ads-days of apps, while the horizontal axis presents the corresponding number of apps of each group. There are 36.7% of apps with Ads-days less than 10 days, while 16.5% of apps are emspanacing Ads service increasingly.

Features of Apple Search Ads Market

User Experience

Apple has always committed to user experience. The Search Ads service was launched with a large extent of conservation. According to official statement, one of the important factors in bidding of Ads lies in correlation between searching words and apps, which can prevent users from some Ads with poor relevance thus enhancing user experience. Such initiative spanings click rate and conversion rate about 15% and 60% respectively to Apple in terms of Search Ads, remarking an extraordinary potential.

Meanwhile, AppBi Data has noticed that the algorithm of Apple in relevance still needs to be upgraded. According to relevant test, it is found that some keywords with higher relevance still suffered failure in bidding under proper condition; at the same time, around 40% of keywords matched automatically by Apple suffered lower click rate actually due to poor relevance.

Supported Languages

At present, Apple has launched its Search Ads service only in America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. According to official statement of Apple, English is the only language available to Ads keywords. However, AppBi Data monitoring has found there were small amount of searching words of other languages being provided with Ads service. It is estimated that Apple is conducting relevant testing for Search Ads service with other languages expanding to global market in the near future.

Attribution API

Attribution analysis on conversion is an important approach to assess the Ads effect. Apple provides relevant API for developers to count click and conversion of Ads, securing convenience for such advertisers. At the same time, Apple has taken much effort to protect users’ privacy. Therefore, users can choose to shut down the Ads tracking to invalidate attribution API. How to leverage interests of users and advertisers would be a challenge suffered by Apple.


1. Apple App Store is still enjoying vitality. According to AppBi Data, Search Ads service boasts great potential.

2. Search Ads service still needs to be upgraded, especially in traffic allocation algorithm which plays significant role to users and developers.

3. Apps with Ads service have showed tendency of preliminary polarization. In general, only a small number of developers have been involved in such service. However, some developers have started consecutive and large-scale Search Ads service.


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