Tapulous shows it’s not the brand that matters

Mobile application developer Tapulous’s Tap Tap Revenge beat out more well-known brands to have the largest installed base of apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store, according to research today from comScore. Approximately 34% of iPhone or iPod Touch users had installed the game by February 2009.

comScore is offering its analysis of the cumulative installed based of apps downloaded via iTunes as a way for digital marketers to measure the audience size, demographic profile and online behaviors of Apple app store users and the results are encouraging for developers.

According to comScore vice president Brian Jurutka, Tap Tap’s success suggests that there is room in app markets for any publisher to get significant distribution with a product that engages users, regardless of their brand power. The number of apps in Apple’s storefront is growing nearly 10% every month, so this opportunity is only growing for existing and new app developers.

Out of the top 25 most popular mobile apps from Apple, 12 were games, including the classics Hangman and Pacman and new entrants like Cube Runner and Crazy Penguin Catapult. Other top apps included Stylem Media’s Backgrounds, which offers alternate backgrounds for the phone’s home screen, and, of course, Facebook and MySpace.

In terms of whose doing the downloading, comScore found that app users were higher-than-average income consumers heavily engaged with online media content. comScore’s engagement index, measuring the online site categories with which app users spent the greatest amount of time relative to the average Internet users, showed that app store purchasers were also reachable and engaged online consumers. They spent more time with social networking, blogs, entertainment, sports and search sites than the average consumer.

With the onslaught of apps being developed for the iPhone, Tap Tap’s success suggests that there is room for less well-known brands, but especially the ones that move early. Tap Tap was among the first apps offered in Apple’s storefront, which now includes more than 50,000 choices. It might be a hard platform to get discovered on, but with storefronts opening across carrier decks, handset makers and operating systems nearly daily, the app world is now much bigger than just the iPhone. There are more opportunities than ever to get on board early with an app focused on a unique value-add, not the power of a brand.

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