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Thursday is a Big Release Day but a Lousy Marketing Day, According to Chartboost

Thursdays are all hype. Despite being the big release day for many new apps, there’s actually very little benefit to marketing or downloads in this period, according to ad firm Chartboost, and every other day has different benefits versus Thursday.

First, according to Chartboost, Wednesday is actually the most popular release day, because it’s the day right before Apple updates their featured lists on the iPhone and iPad App Stores. In reality, what’s happening is that developers are scheduling releases for midnight (0:00) on Thursday, and because apps get released at that time worldwide, which winds up being 11pm eastern in North America due to the Atlantic Time Zone, these apps start appearing on Wednesday.

But here’s the thing: that Thursday is actually a lousy day to be promoting apps.

First, there’s actually no spike in install rate on Thursday, despite it being the biggest day for hype – just see all the media sites that post weekly release lists every Wendesday, after all. In fact, traffic is at its worst on Thursday, being 7 percent below average in terms of impressions, and install rate is 3% below average, which is the worst of the week. This is despite cost per click cost bids increasing to 3% above average.

The big days for app downloads are the weekend: Friday upticks from Thursday up to average, Saturday is 7 percent above average, and Sunday is 4 percent above average. Real-world customers are downloading games on the weekend. Ad impressions increase during this Friday-Sunday period, too, from 2% on Friday, to 14% on Saturday, to 10% on Sunday, all above average. The bid prices do not necessarily increase all that much: 2% on Friday, 4% on Saturday, and 0% on Sunday.

Thus, Saturday might be the best day to promote an app: the increased costs are offset by dramatic increases in installs and impressions. Sunday may be the best bang for the buck, with mean and median bid prices, but the second-best impressions and install rate. Monday through Wednesday present value propositions as well: lower impression and installation rates are also offset by lower costs, and Chartboost says to developers that “you can capture a larger portion of that traffic than you would with the same bid later in the week.”

So developers and publishers looking to get the word out about their app need to beware. Thursday will be the big hype day because it’s when Apple refreshes their features, and releasing in time for that is not a bad move. And iOS gamers should still be excited for the day. But when it comes to promoting an app, it might be the worst day of them all. Chartboost has more insights available on their blog as to what this data could just mean.

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Carter Dotson
Connect with Carter Dotson // email // twitter

  • Sensor Tower

    Very interesting, makes sense though. More people are off work and looking for something to do.