when to launch your app

From time-to-time, we get questions like: What is the best day to launch or promote an app? Of course, there is no blanket answer and you have to take a look at each individual category.

We knew the day of the week tendencies of a few categories, but we wanted to give an exact answer. So our Data Science team did a study of all the primary iOS categories to find out which days of the week typically have more estimated downloads and revenue.

In this post, we will show you the results. Some of them are surprising.

We totaled the estimated weekly downloads and revenue for all iOS apps in the US, for each category. Then we broke down the downloads and revenue by day to see what percentage of the weekly total happened on each day. This data is for January through March, 2015.

Understanding revenue tendencies is important because you need to know when to run your in-app purchase promotions. If you are launching an app for the first time or running a download ad campaign, you need to understand when people are most likely to download your app.

Here is what we found…

Books

books category

When it comes to revenue, it is best to do promotions on Sunday. There are slight weekday bumps on Monday and Wednesday, but the weekend is best.

books downloads

Downloads are similar, you should promote your book apps more heavily on the weekend. Since downloads and revenue have similar characteristics, you don’t have to run promotions on different days.

Business

business apps revenue

As might be expected, the most revenue from Business apps comes during the middle of the week. Running your purchase promotions on Wednesday or Thursday is best for this category.

business apps downloads

The download graph looks similar for this category. However, it seems like Tuesday and Thursdays are slightly better days to promote downloads.

Catalogs

catalogs revenue

Catalogs generate the most revenue on the weekends. This makes sense, since that is when most people shop. Sunday is the best day by far.

catalogs downloads

When it comes to downloads, Monday is actually the third best option to run download promotions. Maybe there is some carry over from the weekend.

Education

education revenue

The Education category follows a similar pattern to the Catalogs category. Promote your purchases on the weekends for best results.

education downloads

The download graph for this category is very flat during the week. This even more reason to promote downloads during the weekend.

Entertainment

entertainment downloads

Saturday is the best day to promote Entertainment app purchases. This makes sense because that is when most people do fun activities.

entertainment revenue

The download graph is similar, with Saturday and Sunday being the days with the most downloads. They are the best days by far, so these are really the only options when running ads or doing a launch.

Finance

finance downloads

The Finance category yielded the most surprising results. Sunday is the best day for revenue, with Saturday and Monday a close second and third. But check out the download graph below.

finance revenue

Unlike other categories, the download graph is very different from the revenue graph. Users seem to download their apps during the week, then wait until the weekend to play with them and buy in-app purchases. They could also download the free version during the week, then upgrade to the paid version when they have more time to examine it.

Food & Drink

drink downloads

Sunday is the absolute best day to promote purchases. If you have to run promotion during the week, Monday and Wednesday are best.

drink revenue

Downloads are also most frequent during the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are about equal.

Games

games downloads

The weekend is the best time to promote game purchases. If you have to choose, Saturday is slightly better.

games revenue

Nothing surprising on the download graph. It is very similar to revenue.

Health And Fitness

fitness downloads

Like other categories, health and fitness apps do well on weekends. But unlike other categories, they also do well at the beginning of the week.

Sunday is the best day by far, but the other days aren’t too bad either. Just avoid Friday.

fitness revenue

The download graph shows a similar trend. Promote downloads on Sunday, if possible. Again, avoid Friday.

Lifestyle

lifestyle downloads

Lifestyle apps make the most money on the weekend, with small bumps on Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are about equal and should be avoided.

lifestyle revenue

Downloads are similar. Run your promotions on Saturday or Sunday.

Medical

medical downloads

Medical apps tend to make the most money during Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday. Unlike a lot of other categories, they make the least money on Saturday.

medical revenue

The download graph also shows a dip on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the best day, but just barely.

Music

music downloads

Music apps start slow in the revenue department, but build during the week and explode on Saturday. You could experiment with any day except Tuesday.

music revenue

Downloads are a different story. People download Music apps primarily on the weekend.

navigation downloads

Navigation apps do well on the weekend, with Friday a distant third. Promote your purchases more heavily on these days.

navigation revenue

Downloads are slightly different. Fridays don’t have an advantage over other weekdays, so you should only emphasize weekends.

News

news downloads

News apps do best on weekends. Running your purchase promotions during this time should give you the best results. Try to avoid Tuesdays.

news revenue

Downloads also happen more frequently on the weekends. Tuesday isn’t as bad as other weekdays for downloads, they are almost as good as any other weekday.

Newsstand

newsstand downloads

Like News apps, Newsstand apps make the most money on Saturday and the least on Tuesday. Promote your apps accordingly.

newsstand revenue

There isn’t too much difference between weekdays, so there isn’t a day that you should avoid or promote more heavily. The weekend is best, of course.

Photo & Video

video downloads

Photo & Video apps make the most money on the weekend. Find a way to take advantage of this trend.

video revenue

Downloads are also most frequent on weekends. The margin is pretty big so it might be worth concentrating your efforts on the weekends.

Productivity

productivity downloads

Productivity apps are surprisingly flat across the week. Every day is a good day to be productive.

productivity revenue

The download graph is similar to the revenue graph. Give every day of the week an equal opportunity to bring in downloads.

Reference

reference downloads

We return to a normal looking revenue graph, with the most revenue coming on the weekends. Monday and Wednesday are optimal days during the week.

reference revenue

When promoting downloads, definitely focus on the weekends. The rest of the week is pretty flat.

Social Networking

social downloads

A good portion of the money rolls in on the weekends. This is a good time to focus on purchase promotions.

networking revenue

Downloads are also most frequent on the weekends. If you are going to promote during the week, any day is good.

Sports

sports downloads

This category has the largest day-of-the-week range. Weekends are the best by far, accounting for almost 40% of the total weekly downloads. In this category, you have to focus on the weekends.

sports revenue

The download graph is similar. Run your download promotions on Saturday or Sunday.

Travel

travel downloads

People usually travel on weekends. Therefore, there is an advantage to promoting purchases on the weekends.

travel revenue

There is less of an advantage to promoting downloads on the weekends. But if you don’t run a promotion on the weekend, most weekdays are about the same.

Utilities

utilities revenue

No surprise here. Utilities are used most on the weekend. If there is any day that you should stay away from, it is Tuesday.

utilities downloads

Downloads happen most frequently on the weekends. But there isn’t a big difference between weekdays and weekends.

Weather

weather revenue

Weather apps come close to beating Sports apps for the biggest range in revenue over the course of a week. Sunday is the best day to promote purchases, period.

weather downloads

The download graph is a little different. Monday and Saturday are about the same, with downloads cratering on Friday. Avoid the end of the work week, if possible.

Conclusion

We hope that the information in this post will help you decide when you should promote your app. Most categories have similar download and revenue profiles. But if you have an app in a category that has an unusual profile, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table by not pressing your promotions on days that are the very best for that category.

The estimated downloads and revenue numbers come from our Store Intelligence product. Click here to schedule a demo.

What did you find surprising about this data? Let us know in the comments below…

Special thanks to the Sensor Tower Data Science team, especially Saul for coming up with the concept and doing the research for this post.