Do free apps increase sales of paid apps?

Some of you might remember my crazy idea of pledging to publish an app a week. I thought that this idea would be a good way to force myself to learn a lot about iOS development and actually get things done. And it has!

But one thing I did not consider was how downloads of simple, silly, free apps would affect sales of my paid apps. It’s only been one week but I am pleased to report that there has been some positive influence!

I had two free apps come out last week: The Beer Nerd’s Old Volume Equivalence Calculator came out on Wednesday and Pizza Pal came out on Friday. What you’re about to see are weekly sales figures for last week that cover free iOS apps, paid iOS apps, and paid Mac OS apps.

First, let’s take a look at the free iOS apps:


Even though the new free apps didn’t come out until later in the week, we’re seeing a 4-8x increase in free app sales. It was hovering between 10 and 20 a week and shot up to 80 last week.

So, we have users downloading the free silly apps. How might that affect sales of paid apps?

It appears that sales have roughly doubled from 30/week to 60/week. Nice! Is it possible that this increase works for Mac OS X apps as well?

This is not as clear but there appears to be an increase. It might average out to twice as much but I haven’t done any maths on it yet.

It has only been a week but it seems pretty clear that adding free apps to your stable of apps helps increase sales of your paid apps. And increases your skills and experience! LEVEL UP!


2 thoughts on “Do free apps increase sales of paid apps?

  1. Junior

    Were you advertising your paid apps in your free apps like in banners, or just allowed the user to look for you via an info button?

    1. No advertising. No cross-app promotions or anything. The only benefit is that they all can be seen together in the “more apps by this author” section.

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