Sensor Tower's Align by Launch feature can be used to find the best performing apps in any category. You can quickly see the best performers right from the start, such as which apps acquire users the fastest, see how long or short apps' life cycles are, and more. You can also use this feature in conjunction with Top Apps from Store Intelligence, and Custom / Global fields to narrow it down to a specific cohort of apps.


Finding a Cohort of Apps To Compare

Since Align by Launch is a feature within App Analysis, you can use Top Apps to populate charts by finding a cohort of apps to compare with each other. In Top Apps, Sensor Tower displays the top 10,000 highest downloaded / grossing apps for a specific category, country, and date range. You can further narrow this down by using Global & Custom Fields and then import your apps into App Analysis, where you can understand which apps have been performing the best.


To find a cohort of apps for comparison:

  1. Navigate to Store Intelligence > Top Apps, and select all relevant filters & fields to your choosing.
  2. After narrowing down Top Apps to a cohort of apps, tick the checkboxes under the Analyze column.
    1. Note: you may also press 'Select All' to include all apps listed in the chart.
  3. The 'View Estimates' button should appear - click it and our platform will redirect you to App Analysis > App.
  4. Your cohort of apps should appear in App Analysis, where you can compare the download, revenue, and RPD figures of each app.


Understand Best Performing Apps and Their Lifecycles

After finding a cohort of apps from Top Apps and importing them into App Analysis, we can see the best performers right from the start with 'Align by Launch', and obtain a sense of how long or short apps' life cycles are.


To understand which apps are best performing along with their respective lifecycles:

  1. In App Analysis, select the 'Align by Launch' option.
  2. Change the Plot Type to Line, and check the 'Cumulative' check box to see cumulative figures from launch.

As you can see, Fortnite has been growing exponentially in the first 6 months from launch, as compared to other popular games. However, it plateaus after about 8 months, bringing it more in line with the other apps shown on the chart. This information can provide insights into initial app performance, as well as understanding long term performance to predict behavior of similar apps. 


You can also use the 'Align by Launch' view to get a sense of how long or short certain apps' life cycles are. For example, in the screenshot below we're comparing the top hypercasual games by downloads.

From the box I highlighted above, you can see a surge in downloads in the first few months after launch from all the efforts related to advertising, paid marketing campaigns, and User Acquisition. However, after around 9 months many of these games start declining in terms of downloads and so typically, these hypercasual games have an average life cycle of roughly 4-9 months. You can perform similar analyses with other genres of games and apps to observe their life cycles as well.


For more information or if you have any questions, please email support@sensortower.com.