‘Strategic Updates in Mobile Apps’

The Spring Seminar Series continues on Friday 13th February with the marvellous Franco Mariuzzo (CCP & ECO) presenting his latest research project, ‘Strategic Updates in Mobile Apps‘. Franco is a Lecturer in Econometrics in the School of Economics at UEA. He has conducted extensive research in the areas of Applied Econometrics and Industrial Organisation. An abstract for Franco’s paper can be found below.

Abstract

In September 2014, more than 1.3 million apps were available in the Apple and Android app stores. Despite this tremendous size, the characteristics and the functioning of app markets are still little known. App markets are characterized by very low entry barriers and extremely high degree of competition. In such environment one of the critical issues is how to attract the attention of users. In this paper we focus on a specific strategy that app developers may use to stimulate demand for their products: versions management. It is recognized by practitioners and developers that managing app updates (i.e., releasing new versions of an existing app) is critical to increase app visibility and to keep users engaged, disguising a hidden strategy to stimulate downloads. We develop a theoretical model to describe why and when major and minor updates should be released. We then use an unbalanced panel with characteristics on the top 1000 apps on Apple stores for 5 European countries to test empirically these theoretical predictions. Our results confirm that updates are more often released when the app is experiencing a decrease in downloads. We interpret this finding as evidence that app developers use updates as a “bet for resurrection” strategy.

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.

About CCP
The Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) conducts interdisciplinary research into competition policy and regulation.

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