A Precipitous Drop

I am at a loss to explain it, but I suppose it was inevitable. I have been observing a very long and slowly declining revenue tail for my best app for some time.

OuttaMyWay!My most popular app, OuttaMyWay! – Personal Lights & Siren, has seen a remarkable drop in sales of late. Even a price reduction did not stimulate an uptick in sales. Could it be that the world’s appetite for an emergency lights and siren simulator has finally been sated?! I find it hard to believe, but I must face the facts I guess.

I can hardly complain. First introduced in 2009, the app was met with great enthusiasm by many lights & siren fans, among them actual first responders. I received many great reviews and great suggestions from users. Even today, the app continues to have strong use by about 2,100 monthly active users. Since it’s release it has been downloaded over 46,000 times. So, thanks!

Since 2009 there have been many updates, including most recently a complete re-write at the end of 2015 which added true universal device support. iPad users rejoice! It looks and works great on all iOS devices. I had hoped that this update would rejuvenate sales, but alas, not so much. I even included a preview video for the App Store. I wonder if that helped or hurt, in hindsight?

If you’re into lights and sirens (and who isn’t?!) this is among the better apps on the App Store. It is stable, mature, and has a developer that cares about it (me!). Reviews are consistently 5 star. So what explains the sales drop off?

Since I do very little, if any, active marketing for this app, I can only assume that the App Store’s discovery algorithms changed dramatically in the last several months. That’s just a hunch based on my own data. The sales trend is definitely downward. Where the app used to see daily sales between 10 and 20 units, today it’s anywhere from 0 to 5.

Because I love this app, and because I have some long-time and devoted users, I do plan on making some updates. And I suppose I will “up” my marketing game a bit to see if that helps. As an indie developer, I chalk these developments up to the ever worsening ecosystem for indies: It is simply very difficult to break through the noise of the App Store with “just any app” and without a lot of buzz and resources and/or established notoriety in the marketplace. Thankfully, I have a day job, as I suspect most (but not all) indies do.

I will press on, nonetheless, as I love this app. But more importantly, I have users who love it, and I don’t want to let them down. Thanks to them, and thanks to you for reading. If you or someone you know is nuts for lights and sirens, please tell them about OuttaMyWay.

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