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A promotional push by Apple can make the difference between a hit and a flop in the app store.
A promotional push by Apple can make the difference between a hit and a flop in the app store.

It used to be that artists would cross their fingers in hopes of getting some air time on the radio.

Videos created in YAKiT since it was featured by Apple.
Videos created in YAKiT since it was featured by Apple.

The modern-day equivalent of that is getting your app featured in Apple’s app store, a feat that two Seattle area startups recently achieved. We caught up with both app developers — Estately co-founder Galen Ward and Freak’n Genius CEO Kyle Kesterson — to ask what happens when Apple anoints an app as one of the best new creations.

Short answer: Good stuff.

Kesterson, whose company’s YAKiT Kids app continues to be featured by Apple, and is currently the No. 1 ranked free kids app in the App Store, said the recognition quite simply puts “boosters to a rocket.”

YAKiT, which allows kids to create funny animated videos with multiple scenes, debuted last Thursday. During the first day, more than 10,000 videos were created in the app, and it now is attracting about 12,000 new downloads per day.

“Apple took a look at the app and saw that it was well designed, easy to use, and fun to … play with. It hits dead center with the kinds of apps they are looking to showcase for children’s fun and creativity,” said Kesterson when asked why he thought YAKiT was chosen amid the millions of apps.

The momentum continues to build. On day four of the app release, a new video was being created with the YAKiT service every 1.8 seconds. That compared to a video every seven seconds on its release day.

We also just happened to catch up with Estately’s Ward on the day his new online real estate app was featured in the App Store. He was bubbling with excitement, saying he was a “little jittery” and “hyped up” from the acknowledgement.

Galen Ward
Galen Ward

“Being featured by Apple is a great honor. I am not sure normal people or consumers understand just how much that means. It means tens of thousands of installs of your app. It means more people see you app then on any consumer Web site, except maybe if the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times put it on their home page or something. It is a phenomenal opportunity.”

No wonder that app developers are still flocking to Apple, with users buying $10 billion worth of apps in the iOS store last year. Studies also indicate that Apple accounts for 67 percent of all global app revenue, well ahead of Google’s Android store. In the Apple earnings call today, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer called the Apple App Store a “superior marketplace” for the company’s “extremely talented” developer community.

Apple today announced that it sold 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads during its fiscal first quarter. Both were quarterly records.

Given that, the Apple App Store may be the proving ground for developers for a long time to come.

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