Apple offers Comparison Group Analysis for App Store Connect
The Peer Group benchmark is a new App Store Connect feature designed to help developers track the performance of their apps against other similar apps.
To determine which apps are similar enough to belong to the same reference group, Apple considers a number of factors, including which App Store categories they fall into, their business model, and download volume.
This means, for example, that Apple will compare lifestyle apps using the freemium business model with roughly the same amount of downloads. For subscription-based apps, Apple requires that for an app to be considered part of the subscription business model, at least 50% of its revenue must come from auto-renewable subscriptions.
Apple says the new feature uses differentiated data protection to preserve privacy:
When creating peer group values, we use a technique called differential privacy, which is the gold standard for ensuring that individual values within a group remain private. Each week, we ensure that each peer group has at least a certain number of applications before release, and we add a certain amount of noise to each data point to provide additional protection.
Peer group benchmarking is pretty lean when it comes to the metrics it supports, which include six different metrics: conversion rate, revenue per paying user, crash rate, and three different levels of user retention, one day, one week, or four week retention. The six metrics are displayed in a dashboard view that includes data for the last available week.
In addition, you can see how each metric is changing over time and refine the criteria that determine which apps belong to the same peer group. Specifically, you can choose whether to include apps with low, medium, or high download volume, as well as change the reference App Store category and switch between the two categories assigned when the app is published. The trend view also allows you to select benchmark percentages to understand how they change.
What’s particularly interesting about this new tool is that, according to Apple, it’s based on data from the entire App Store catalog, including Apple’s own apps. This overcomes the limitations of other third-party analytics solutions available on the market, which can only access data from applications that use that service.
It can also be used in conjunction with other analytics tools provided by Apple for more advanced strategies to improve app performance, such as creating custom product pages and then comparing how they perform against each other and the competition.