Since its emergence, mobile applications market has been attracting the attention of all kinds of businesses due to the lucrative opportunities apps offer and the market's low barriers to entry. Yet, in this crowded space, only a small portion of apps can survive. Using a unique data set of 979 newly released applications, acquired from a leading mobile analytics company and enriched with publicly available data, the authors shed light on the factors associated with app downloads during an app's first year of existence. Results from time-varying-parameter models estimated separately for free and paid apps reveal that gaining traction with users shortly after release seems critical and that app platform owners can be very influential in these early days. However, as apps mature, affecting the number of downloads becomes increasingly more difficult. The findings add new insights to the growing literature on apps and provide practical implications for their developers.
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