How Does Nirvana’s “Nevermind” = App Installs?

In 1991, Nirvana became an overnight success. Creating a subgenre or alt-rock that would coin the defining trends of the early 90’s: “Grunge” as well at out-sell the King of Pop: Michael Jackson.

By the end of 1991, Nevermind had become the essential album of the decade and set the bar for anyone looking to beat them in sales. Christmas of that year, Nevermind was the most purchased album for angst-ridden teens across America.

Its best sales week came during Christmas week of 1991 when the album sold 374,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 29 (coinciding with the Jan. 11, 1992-dated chart, when the album hit No. 1)

How does this relate to app purchases?

Let me ask you something:

How many people return specific gifts that they didn’t want for Christmas?

How many people delete apps after purchasing them?

Post-Christmas returns on “Nevermind” were staggering. Remember back in 2001 when your grandma bought you that “Nickelback” album and you instantly returned it because Nickelback sucks? It was kind of like that, except Nirvana doesn’t suck. They just weren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

This coincides with Christmas and app installs.

App Store installs peak in December but still are strong through February, but only 6 percent of people still use an app after 30 days.

The results aren’t nearly as staggering for the iconic Seattle band, but the metaphor runs symmetrically to the explanation.

Where music has become less refundable (via Itunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Pandora), app uninstalls are more prevalent.  I don’t need that app for that restaurant down the street because the deal they had for Christmas is now over. That movie theater had a deal if you installed their app, but that was just to get you in the door for the holiday.

“The holiday period aside, app businesses are also facing a very unique challenge, and that challenge is that app businesses are no longer looking to just get discovery,” Christine Di Martini, app ads marketing lead at Facebook, said in an interview. “It’s not that it’s not important, but the fact that it’s getting discovered by the right people and by the people who will use your app and use it over time is becoming increasingly important to their business.”

Instead of just making the sale, the focus should be on keeping that sale for a longer period of time.