Align by Launch is a feature of Store Intel App Analysis. It is a data visualization option that shows Revenue, Downloads, Revenue Per Download, or Average Revenue per Daily Active User aligned with each app's worldwide launch day.
By aligning data to each app's release, you can compare user acquisition and monetization performance relative to their lifespan. This allows you to compare the first few days, weeks, months, or years of any set of apps, no matter what date the app was released. This kind of visualization can help project the future performance of apps or compare similar apps that were launched years apart. In general, when you want to look at apps that are actively competing in real-time, it's better to view downloads, revenue, RPD, or ARPDAU with our custom date range picker.
The worldwide launch date is defined as the first date where an app has launched in at least five countries, of which must include either the US, China, or Japan. Align by Launch forces the All-Time date range. You can click and drag on an App Analysis graph to zoom to the time frame you're interested in.
Align by Launch helps you do two things: compare apps released years apart, and project likely outcomes.
We'll show a few ways that launch alignment can help you find actionable insights into the mobile app market.
TikTok vs. Snapchat Trajectories
Hypercasual App Life Cycle
TikTok vs. Snapchat
Want to see how many months after launch it took TikTok to overtake Snapchat? While Snapchat still had more all-time downloads, 80 months after launch, TikTok had more cumulative downloads than Snapchat had achieved at that point in its life cycle.
Want to see which King app will perform the best over time on iOS in the US? Six months after launch, we can see that Candy Crush Soda Saga earned more downloads and revenue than any other King title. However, after 16 months, classic Candy Crush pulls ahead, and the cumulative revenue curve indicates that Soda Saga is unlikely ever to catch up.
King Per User Monetization
Let's continue this exercise to explore how King has monetized these apps on a per-user basis. If we switch to the RPD measure, we can see after six months, Candy Crush Friends earns more revenue per download than any other King property, beating out Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Jelly. If the RPD ratio continued to grow at that rate as user acquisition scales, it would generate more revenue than any other King title.
Hypercasual App Life Cycle
Since Align by Launch is a feature of App Analysis, you can populate the chart using Top Apps, filtered by a custom field. For example, you could filter Top Apps by Fitness Apps or Hyper casual, then click Select All and View Estimates. You can quickly see the best performers out of the gate for any given cohort of apps.
For example, with Hyper casual selected, we can see that Color Bump 3d acquires users significantly faster than its competitors. You can also get a sense of how long or short the life cycle of some types of apps is. Top hypercasual games typically last only 4-9 months!
The custom date range picker is disabled for Align by Launch; however, you can click and drag on a selected time frame within the chart to zoom into a specific time range.
Align By Unified App/Align By Sub-App
Aligning by unified app combines the launch dates of a specific app and all its sub-apps so that the graph assumes all sub-apps have the same launch date. On the other hand, aligning by sub-app separates each sub-apps launch date, so that users can see specifically on the graph when each sub-app was launched.
Note: When Align by Launch is engaged, soft launch data previous to the worldwide launch is discarded (however this data can be restored on the graph by clicking on Display pre-launch data under the dropdown next to the Align By Launch button). This can affect cumulative measurements like RPD or cumulative Downloads or Revenue. When there are more than ten entities on a launch-aligned graph, precision can be reduced. Store Intelligence data goes back to 2012 for iOS and 2014 for Android (improved regional coverage starting 2016). Apps that were published before those dates will be launch-aligned to the first day with available data.