1. Google Play Store apps and reviews
The average App Rating on Google Play Store is 4.17.
Medical and Family apps are most expensive.
Mobile apps are everywhere. They are easy to create and can be lucrative. Because of these two factors, more and more apps are being developed. I wanted to do a comprehensive analysis of the Android app market by comparing over ten thousand apps in Google Play across different categories. Idea was to look for insights in the data to devise strategies to drive growth and retention.
Let's take a look at the data, which consists of two files:
apps.csv: contains all the details of the applications on Google Play. There are 13 features that describe a given app.
user_reviews.csv: contains 100 reviews for each app, most helpful first. The text in each review has been pre-processed and attributed with three new features: Sentiment (Positive, Negative or Neutral), Sentiment Polarity and Sentiment Subjectivity.
Total number of apps in the dataset = 9659 <class 'pandas.core.frame.DataFrame'> Int64Index: 9659 entries, 0 to 9658 Data columns (total 14 columns): # Column Non-Null Count Dtype --- ------ -------------- ----- 0 Unnamed: 0 9659 non-null int64 1 App 9659 non-null object 2 Category 9659 non-null object 3 Rating 8196 non-null float64 4 Reviews 9659 non-null int64 5 Size 8432 non-null float64 6 Installs 9659 non-null object 7 Type 9659 non-null object 8 Price 9659 non-null object 9 Content Rating 9659 non-null object 10 Genres 9659 non-null object 11 Last Updated 9659 non-null object 12 Current Ver 9651 non-null object 13 Android Ver 9657 non-null object dtypes: float64(2), int64(2), object(10) memory usage: 1.1+ MB None
|Unnamed: 0||App||Category||Rating||Reviews||Size||Installs||Type||Price||Content Rating||Genres||Last Updated||Current Ver||Android Ver|
|378||435||Hiya - Caller ID & Block||COMMUNICATION||4.4||177703||13.0||10,000,000+||Free||0||Mature 17+||Communication||July 25, 2018||8.1.2-6310||5.0 and up|
|1646||2105||Xtreme Racing 2018 - Jeep & 4x4 off road simul...||FAMILY||4.2||2178||99.0||500,000+||Free||0||Everyone||Racing;Action & Adventure||August 23, 2017||1.0.8||4.1 and up|
|1530||1936||DEAD TARGET: FPS Zombie Apocalypse Survival Games||GAME||4.5||1468591||NaN||50,000,000+||Free||0||Mature 17+||Action||July 23, 2018||Varies with device||Varies with device|
|3437||4332||EXO-L Amino for EXO Fans||SOCIAL||4.9||5677||67.0||50,000+||Free||0||Teen||Social||July 13, 2018||1.8.19106||4.0.3 and up|
|5512||6525||BN Pro LcdD-b HD Text||LIBRARIES_AND_DEMO||3.9||131||0.4||10,000+||Free||0||Everyone||Libraries & Demo||February 5, 2017||2.3.2||1.6 and up|
2. Data cleaning
The four features that we will be working with most frequently henceforth are
info() function (from the previous task) told us that
Price columns are of type
object and not
float64 as we would expect. This is because the column contains some characters more than just [0,9] digits. Ideally, we would want these columns to be numeric as their name suggests.
Hence, we now proceed to data cleaning and prepare our data to be consumed in our analysis later. Specifically, the presence of special characters (
, $ +) in the
Price columns make their conversion to a numerical data type difficult.
3. Exploring app categories
With more than 1 billion active users in 190 countries around the world, Google Play continues to be an important distribution platform to build a global audience. For businesses to get their apps in front of users, it's important to make them more quickly and easily discoverable on Google Play. To improve the overall search experience, Google has introduced the concept of grouping apps into categories.
This brings us to the following questions:
- Which category has the highest share of (active) apps in the market?
- Is any specific category dominating the market?
- Which categories have the fewest number of apps?
We will see that there are
33 unique app categories present in our dataset. Family and Game apps have the highest market prevalence. Interestingly, Tools, Business and Medical apps are also at the top.
4. Distribution of app ratings
After having witnessed the market share for each category of apps, let's see how all these apps perform on an average. App ratings (on a scale of 1 to 5) impact the discoverability, conversion of apps as well as the company's overall brand image. Ratings are a key performance indicator of an app.
From our research, we found that the average volume of ratings across all app categories is
4.17. The histogram plot is skewed to the right indicating that the majority of the apps are highly rated with only a few exceptions in the low-rated apps.
Average app rating = 4.173243045387994
5. Size and price of an app
Let's now examine app size and app price. For size, if the mobile app is too large, it may be difficult and/or expensive for users to download. Lengthy download times could turn users off before they even experience your mobile app. Plus, each user's device has a finite amount of disk space. For price, some users expect their apps to be free or inexpensive. These problems compound if the developing world is part of your target market; especially due to internet speeds, earning power and exchange rates.
How can we effectively come up with strategies to size and price our app?
- Does the size of an app affect its rating?
- Do users really care about system-heavy apps or do they prefer light-weighted apps?
- Does the price of an app affect its rating?
- Do users always prefer free apps over paid apps?
We find that the majority of top rated apps (rating over 4) range from 2 MB to 20 MB. We also find that the vast majority of apps price themselves under \$10.
6. Relation between app category and app price
So now comes the hard part. How are companies and developers supposed to make ends meet? What monetization strategies can companies use to maximize profit? The costs of apps are largely based on features, complexity, and platform.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the right pricing strategy for your mobile app. It is important to consider the willingness of your customer to pay for your app. A wrong price could break the deal before the download even happens. Potential customers could be turned off by what they perceive to be a shocking cost, or they might delete an app they’ve downloaded after receiving too many ads or simply not getting their money's worth.
Different categories demand different price ranges. Some apps that are simple and used daily, like the calculator app, should probably be kept free. However, it would make sense to charge for a highly-specialized medical app that diagnoses diabetic patients. Below, we see that Medical and Family apps are the most expensive. Some medical apps extend even up to \$80! All game apps are reasonably priced below \$20.
|3327||FAMILY||most expensive app (H)||399.99|
|3465||LIFESTYLE||💎 I'm rich||399.99|
|3469||LIFESTYLE||I'm Rich - Trump Edition||400.00|
|4396||LIFESTYLE||I am rich||399.99|
|4398||FAMILY||I am Rich Plus||399.99|
|4399||LIFESTYLE||I am rich VIP||299.99|
|4400||FINANCE||I Am Rich Premium||399.99|
|4401||LIFESTYLE||I am extremely Rich||379.99|
|4402||FINANCE||I am Rich!||399.99|
|4403||FINANCE||I am rich(premium)||399.99|
|4406||FAMILY||I Am Rich Pro||399.99|
|4408||FINANCE||I am rich (Most expensive app)||399.99|
|4410||FAMILY||I Am Rich||389.99|
|4413||FINANCE||I am Rich||399.99|
|4417||FINANCE||I AM RICH PRO PLUS||399.99|
|8763||FINANCE||Eu Sou Rico||394.99|
|8780||LIFESTYLE||I'm Rich/Eu sou Rico/أنا غني/我很有錢||399.99|
7. Filter out “junk” apps
It looks like a bunch of the really expensive apps are "junk" apps. That is, apps that don't really have a purpose. Some app developer may create an app called I Am Rich Premium or most expensive app (H) just for a joke or to test their app development skills. Some developers even do this with malicious intent and try to make money by hoping people accidentally click purchase on their app in the store.
Let's filter out these junk apps and re-do our visualization. The distribution of apps under \$20 becomes clearer.
Text(0.5, 1.0, 'App pricing trend across categories after filtering for junk apps')
8. Popularity of paid apps vs free apps
For apps in the Play Store today, there are five types of pricing strategies: free, freemium, paid, paymium, and subscription. Let's focus on free and paid apps only. Some characteristics of free apps are:
- Free to download.
- Main source of income often comes from advertisements.
- Often created by companies that have other products and the app serves as an extension of those products.
- Can serve as a tool for customer retention, communication, and customer service.
Some characteristics of paid apps are:
- Users are asked to pay once for the app to download and use it.
- The user can't really get a feel for the app before buying it.
Are paid apps installed as much as free apps? It turns out that paid apps have a relatively lower number of installs than free apps, though the difference is not as stark as I would have expected!
9. Sentiment analysis of user reviews
Mining user review data to determine how people feel about your product, brand, or service can be done using a technique called sentiment analysis. User reviews for apps can be analyzed to identify if the mood is positive, negative or neutral about that app. For example, positive words in an app review might include words such as 'amazing', 'friendly', 'good', 'great', and 'love'. Negative words might be words like 'malware', 'hate', 'problem', 'refund', and 'incompetent'.
By plotting sentiment polarity scores of user reviews for paid and free apps, we observe that free apps receive a lot of harsh comments, as indicated by the outliers on the negative y-axis. Reviews for paid apps appear never to be extremely negative. This may indicate something about app quality, i.e., paid apps being of higher quality than free apps on average. The median polarity score for paid apps is a little higher than free apps, thereby syncing with our previous observation.
Text(0.5, 1.0, 'Sentiment Polarity Distribution')
In this notebook, we analyzed over ten thousand apps from the Google Play Store. We can use our findings to inform our decisions should we ever wish to create an app ourselves.
- Google Play Store
For more detail, code and interactive graphs Visit Notebook
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