How Apple is experimenting with tvOS top charts

May 31, 2016 · 2 min read
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Apple changes its Apple TV tvOS Top Charts algorithm

Is Apple trying to give the Apple TV App Store a boost? That might explain why Apple has changed the way the Top Charts algorithms work on tvOS. We noticed this major change last week and have figured out what’s going on.

Where did our apps go?

After we released an update to Live TV (German TV Streams) last week, we were shocked to see it had disappeared from the Top Free charts. Live TV has been one of the most popular apps on the Apple TV in Germany and has been in the Top 10 almost since day 1, so for it to disappear completely was inconceivable.

We checked and double-checked iTunes Connect, refreshed the App Store, checked our crash logs, but nothing stood out.


The change

In turns out, Apple now hides an app in the charts once you’ve installed it. Give it a try: Go install TV Pro Mediathek (VOD for German TV content) from the App Store (currently #3 Top Grossing in Germany) and then go back in to the App Store: boom — it’s gone from the charts and the next-placed app has moved up.

Apple’s intention with the change is presumably to make the charts appear ‘fresher’ and users see more apps that they haven’t installed yet.

The downside is that the charts don’t really show an accurate picture of what the ‘Top’ apps are, instead they show ‘Top apps that you haven’t installed yet’.

So maybe this is what Phil Schiller meant when he said:

@VermontNerd @JeffBenjam The App Store = A place we all want to visit every day (more good work to come)

— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) March 3, 2016

At equinux, we make apps for Macs, iOS and Apple TV. If you’re an app developer reading this, you need Mail Designer Pro — the best way to create mobile-responsive newsletters that look great in all mail clients and can be sent with all popular newsletter services.

Originally published at equinux blog.


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equinux makes apps and gadgets for Macs, iPhones & iPads.

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