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In brief: Developers looking to get their apps to the top spot in a mobile app store now have a pretty good idea of how many downloads it takes thanks to the latest report from analytics firm Sensor Tower.
It now requires approximately 156,000 downloads on any given day to get a free, non-gaming iPhone app to the number one position in the App Store in the US. In 2019, it took an average of just 114,000 daily downloads to accomplish the same goal.
iPhone games used to command more downloads than general apps, but that has since flipped. Year to date, it requires just 93,000 daily downloads for a game to reach the No. 1 spot in the US. Back in 2019, a dev would need roughly 171,000 downloads to land at the top of the mountain.
Over on Google Play, non-gaming apps require 56,000 daily downloads to reach the top spot – down from around 83,000 in 2019. Android games vying for the top spot need just 37,000 daily downloads to hit pole position. Three years ago, an Android game required roughly 114,000 downloads to reach the top of the podium.
Breaking into the top 10 on the US App Store and Google Play is even easier. A non-gaming iPhone app needs just 52,000 daily downloads to make the list and a game needs only 26,000 downloads. A non-gaming Android app must hit 29,000 daily downloads to crack the top 10 while games need as few as 16,000 daily downloads to take the 10th position.