Entry into Google’s top 10 downloaded app list in India is toughest in the world

The number of daily downloads required by an Android app or game to make it to the top ten apps list on Google Play Store in India is the highest in the world, as per app analytics firm Sensor Tower’s latest Store Intelligence data. In India, a non-gaming app requires 292,000 downloads every day while a gaming app needs 125,000 downloads to achieve the milestone.

The Sensor Tower report found that India, China, and the US have the highest entry barriers for apps.

In China, a non-gaming app requires 108,000 downloads on Apple App Store to feature in the top ten, whereas in the US an iOS app requires 52,000 downloads. Gaming apps are comparatively better placed. For instance, in China with only 23,000 daily downloads, and in the US with 26,000 daily downloads, an app could rank in the top ten.

In comparison, in markets such as Brazil, only 69,000 downloads are required for apps and 39,000 for games to be in the top ten on Play Store. Similarly, in Indonesia, 77,000 downloads for apps and 44,000 downloads for games are required.

Faisal Kawoosa, chief analyst and founder of market research firm techARC points out that the Indian app ecosystem is a lot more fragmented than others in terms of user choices. “Instead of relying on one go-to app for cab, flight booking or shopping, most smartphone users have multiple apps on their smartphone so they can compare the best features and prices each of them have to offer,” he added.

Further, the Sensor Tower report shows that getting to the top is even more difficult. For instance, the number of daily downloads for an app to get to the top of the list on Apple’s App Store in the US has gone up by 37%. The number of downloads required for an app on the App Store is now 156,000 to reach number one as compared to 114,000 in 2019.

Getting to the top on the Google Play Store is comparatively easier. The Sensor Tower data shows that the number of downloads needed to become number one has declined by 33% from 83,000 in 2019 to 56,000 this year.

Sensor Tower attributes the increase in downloads for iOS apps to “iOS specific user acquisition tactics‘’ used by developers after Apple introduced the app tracking transparency (ATT) framework. Introduced in 2021, ATT has ensured that app developers cannot access app-related data for tracking the user or the device without the user’s explicit permission.

According to Sensor Tower, this is a unique challenge for non-gaming app developers. The number of downloads required for a gaming app to reach number one on the App Store has fallen by 46% from 171,000 daily downloads in 2019 to 93,000 daily downloads in 2022. On Google Play, it has declined by 68% from 114,000 downloads to 37,000. Analysts at Sensor Tower believe this is happening because users are downloading games they are already interested in instead of trying new games.

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