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I've recently discovered unusual spikes in the downloads of my app. I could trace them back to the source type "Institutional Purchase". What does this mean?

The other source types are more or less clear. Screenshot Appstore Connect

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Institutional Purchase is indicating the copies of your app bought under Apple's Volume Purchase Program. Any app sold on the App Store automatically become available under the Volume Purchase Program:

All apps on the App Store are automatically available for volume purchase for the same price in Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager, which is where businesses and educational institutions download apps for volume distribution.

However, if you sell a paid app on the App Store, you can alternatively offer them at a reduced price for educational institutes.

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    I have a single free app in App Store, that has a very limited audience (people who own a particular piece of my company's equipment, less than 3000 sold). An institutional purchase of 5000 appeared this month. Previous months also show institutional purchases, but much less. Can an institution really purchase free apps? Could someone be gaming the system?
    – bobwki
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 15:08
  • I see the same spikes for my app. It is free to download in the App Store and offers subscriptions as in-app-purchase. I assume a company can download it in Apple Business Manager and it will be rolled out to all enrolled devices, however the subscription mechanisms are still in place so they can only use the free version. As far as I know subscriptions are not supported in Apple's Volume Purchase Program (at least this was the case a few years ago).
    – ndreisg
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 8:47

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