The “Shark Tank” Impact On Apps
Sitting on the prime of the iTunes App Retailer for the fourth day in a row and counting is Scholly, one other one of many many cellular purposes that discovered its means onto the nationwide stage by means of ABC’s in style TV pitch competitors Shark Tank. The present now has a historical past of with the ability to transfer the market in terms of turning apps that may in any other case be additionally-rans into cellular hits – at the least when it comes to visibility and downloads, if not consumer sentiment or lengthy-time period success.
Scholly, for instance, is being slammed by quite a few one- and two-star critiques from shoppers who downloaded the app as a result of they noticed it on TV and thought it might be helpful – particularly contemplating the battle it brought about amongst Shark Tank buyers, main a number of to stroll off the set. However many customers quickly found that the app nonetheless had a variety of bugs and, in some instances, pointed to outdated info.
In case you missed it, on the newest episode of Shark Tank, co-founder Christopher Grey launched his app Scholly as a approach for potential school college students to hunt out scholarships and grants. The app scours the online for this info and aggregates its outcomes, although in a reasonably unadorned consumer interface. Many complain that the app isn’t actually providing rather more info than a lot of competing web sites already do right now, and, the truth is, the restrictions of a cellular interface is definitely an inconvenience because the app doesn’t save your home, and you’ll be able to’t open tabs like you would in an internet browser.
In different phrases, it’s clear that whereas Shark Tank can drive visitors in droves, it’s not a confirmed high quality filter.
Extra importantly, maybe, the publicity that the present supplies, whereas undoubtedly leading to a large bump in app downloads, doesn’t all the time imply the corporate will win in the long term.
In truth, when wanting again on a lot of previous apps which have popped up on the present through the years, it’s obvious the outcomes from being on Shark Tank differ past their preliminary increase.
Scan Hangs On Past Its Shark Tank Bump
Scholly is hardly the primary to reap the advantages of a nationwide TV look on the present, which options buyers Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran listening to startup pitches after which selecting to cross or make investments, typically at steep costs.
Following a 2013 look from an organization referred to as Scan, a QR code scanner, the app shot as much as #1 on the App Retailer’s Utilities listing, and climbed to #25 in Paid Apps on iTunes. Earlier than the present, it was ranked #one hundred fifty General, and #5 in Utilities.
The app didn’t earn an funding on the present, however founder Garrett Gee loved the publicity and he truly closed on $7 million the day earlier than the episode aired. (Gee additionally cleverly “hacked” Shark Tank through the use of a QR code in his demo that despatched customers to his web site.)
At this time, the app continues to be holding its personal, and stays a prime 10 app within the Utilities class, over a yr after its Shark Tank debut. Although it has fallen additional within the General rankings over the previous a number of months, to maintain a prime 10 place in any iTunes class is a wrestle that being on a TV present alone doesn’t clear up.
However Even “Scorching” Shark Tank App Corporations Can Fade In Time
In the meantime, one of many extra in style apps that proved the present’s talents to push startups into the App Retailer stratosphere was Cycloramic, a type of gimmicky however enjoyable app that used the iPhone’s vibration perform to show itself round whereas taking a 360-diploma photograph.
As quickly because the phase aired, creator Bruno Francois stated the app started seeing tens of hundreds of downloads in a matter of minutes, and, inside the hour, reached one hundred,000 new installs.
Since its look on the tank a yr in the past, the corporate launched a brand new model designed for the iPhone 6 whose spherical edges made its earlier trick the place it stood upright and rotated unimaginable. (The brand new app makes use of the iPhone charger for the bottom as an alternative.)
Remarkably, the Shark Tank-promoted app nonetheless stays decently ranked, all issues thought-about. It maintained a place within the prime 50 “Photograph & Video” class on the App Retailer all final yr and at first of 2015, solely extra lately dropping under the highest one hundred.
Sadly for Cycloramic, nevertheless, it appears that evidently Shark Tank buyers might have overvalued the corporate’s potential to maneuver past what might find yourself being a one-hit marvel. Its newest model for the iPhone 6 isn’t doing as properly, rating #1315 within the “Photograph & Video” class lately.
As well as, the corporate’s spinoff into selfies, with selfie360, is faring little higher. (#621 in Social Networking, and never ranked elsewhere – which means it’s ranked decrease than #1,500, in line with App Annie’s knowledge).
When Shark Tank’s Bump Isn’t Sufficient
One other app firm that acquired a bump from the present was VerbalizeIt, a human-powered translation service that popped up on the present in spring 2013. seventy two hours after its phase, the app had 20,000 new clients and every day income tripled. (The app stated sure to an O’Leary funding on the present, however after airing turned him down.)
Nevertheless, co-founder Ryan Frankel advised The WSJ in October 2014 that, regardless of the nationwide visibility, the app nonetheless didn’t hit the numbers it wanted to be a shopper success. It as an alternative raised a seed spherical of $830,000 to maneuver into the enterprise market, the paper famous.
The app has since been pulled from the iTunes App Retailer. It’s lifeless.
When Shark Tank Buyers Cross, Bump Can Be Minimal
For app makers happening Shark Tank, they don’t have to attain a deal – and even be favored by buyers – in an effort to get the preliminary App Retailer increase. However it might assist maintain the increase, it appears.
As an example, a private safety app referred to as EmergenSee noticed lots of of hundreds of downloads within the 12 hours after the present aired, and had so as to add additional servers to deal with the visitors.
The app hit #20 within the Way of life class following the present, however crashed within the rankings quickly after – indicating that the present’s viewers is at the very least considerably influenced by buyers’ opinion on the matter. Whereas Scholly was fought over by buyers, EmergenSee was dismissed – and App Retailer rankings mirror that sentiment when it comes to shopper downloads, too.
(With EmergenSee, buyers didn’t look after the app’s enterprise mannequin, and weren’t thrilled with the corporate’s determination to make use of outsourced builders. Maybe the viewers agreed?)
The EmergenSee app is right now ranked decrease than #1,500 in all classes, says App Annie. In different phrases, it’s additionally successfully lifeless.
App Goes From Shark Tank To $14.5M Exit
The most important app success story from the present, nevertheless, is that of photograph guide maker Groovebook. The cellular app lets customers construct tremendous-low cost photograph books utilizing photographs saved on their cell phone.
After its TV look in January, the app grew to over one million downloads and noticed greater than 200 million pictures uploaded. GrooveBook had acquired over 18,000 subscribers within the eight months earlier than the present, however then grew its enterprise to 500,000 paid subscribers after the present aired, the corporate stated in a later replace.
Groovebook then went on to make historical past as the primary app showing on Shark Tank to exit to a publicly traded firm, when Shutterfly acquired it for $14.5 million in November 2014.
Whereas an exit like that is definitely notable, it’s value stating that Groovebook’s app wasn’t completely a runaway success. Its Shark Tank debut in January 2014 pushed it almost into the highest 5 within the hyper-aggressive “Photograph & Video” class on iTunes at first, however all year long, the app’s progress fluctuated wildly within the General rankings and it floated out and in of the highest one hundred-one hundred fifty within the “Photograph & Video” part – an honest, however not breathtaking, displaying.
The above are solely a few of the many apps which have appeared on the present over the years. Nevertheless, if there’s any bigger takeaway from the outcomes of this sampling it’s that the present’s capacity to offer publicity is definitely past query, however its means to rework apps from unknowns into lasting companies is certainly not a given.