But what is advertising analytics exactly? Unlike in-app analytics, which monitors how long users spend in an app or mobile website, and what they do in there, advertising analytics extrapolate the data from advertising and marketing campaigns to help marketers to better target their ads and understand the effectiveness of their spending. So for each different traffic source or type of creative, marketers can understand what’s working, and what’s not and optimize their campaigns accordingly.
But all is not quite so cosy in data land, as many of the internet giants such as Facebook and Apple are developing their own in-house mobile analytic solutions and in some cases are making it hard for third party providers to work on their platforms. We are also seeing consolidation in the space as the likes of Ad-X tracking are acquired by full service ad tech companies such as Criteo and integrated into their solutions. As a result, we might expect the number of players to reduce going forward.
However, at present there still seems to be plenty of room for new players and many of the mobile advertising analytics tools covered here take a slightly different approach to the market. Some players are combining advertising analytics and tracking services with buying platforms and DSPs such as Ad2Campaign, whilst others like Adjust who drill right down into the data coalface and offer up chunks of analytical nuggets, others focus on one sector such as gaming specialist Party Track whilst App Annie offers a suite of tools including a mobile advertising analytics service.
Here is our list in full of third-party mobile advertising analytics outfits with the best tools for the job:
- Grab Analytics
- Party Track
- App Annie
Based in Berlin and San Francisco, Adjust is a mobile attribution and analytics company – and an official Facebook Mobile Measurement Partner. Ruthlessly efficient, its streamlined dashboards are not only things of beauty but also offer up real-time understandable and actionable metrics allowing publishers and advertisers to react quickly and target resources with the highest ROI to specific campaigns. The founders of Adjust are Christian Henschel, Paul H Müller and Manuel Kniep who come from a mix of marketing and developer backgrounds. They claim to have the broadest network and market coverage in the industry.
What they say: ‘Real time data presented in an understandable way’
What we say: ‘One day all third party analytic outfits will be designed like this’
Pricing: A five-tier pricing model with packages starting at $129USD or €100 per month.
Keeping tabs on mobile ad campaigns across a multitude of networks and publishers can get overwhelming, so anything that helps simplify the process by delivering accurate CPWs (cost per whale) to mobile marketers is like finding the holy grail. Step up Tune and its MobileAppTracking (MAT) software that not only allows one SDK to integrate with every ad network and publisher so you can keep track of marketing campaigns in one place, MAT’s ‘advanced cohort analysis tool’ also allows you to easily see revenue per install and chart that progress over time and easily pass conversion information to any third party partner you choose. Nice.
What they say: ‘The only truly open and unbiased solution’
What we say: ‘The secret’s in the formula and Tune has got it nailed’
Pricing: Free tracking for up to 50,000 attributions every month, after that its $.002/attribution. Check website for volume pricing
AppsFlyer’s nativetrack technology does a similar job to Tune’s MAT, and is integrated with approximately 600 ad networks and media sources. An official Facebook and Twitter Mobile Measurement Partner, AppsFlyer says its vast number of supported ad networks lets managers monitor the success of various ad campaigns. In short, it’s a ‘one-stop shop for any mobile advertiser providing unbiased attribution, mobile campaign analytics, in-app user engagement, lifetime value analysis, ROI and retargeting’.
What they say: ‘We add transparency to this market’
What we say: ‘An end to spray and pray marketing?
Pricing: AppsFlyer charges only for channel attributed installs (non-organic) different tier ranges for non-organic installs from $0.05 (1-5,000) to $0.04 (25,001+). Check website for more details.
Affle’s data-centric mobile marketing platform features a single UI/ account view of all mobile marketing inventory and activities. Ad2campaign (AD2C) was one of the first single-view, mobile-centric, brand-side platforms to monitor entire mobile campaigns. The platform provides tracking and attribution primarily for four types of campaigns: CPC or CPM led branding campaigns; CPI (cost per install) app install campaigns; lead campaigns and VAS activation campaigns. Formed in March 2012 in India, by the Affle Group, AD2C is particularly popular with Asian brand marketers.
What they say: ‘Actionable analytics so that marketers can close the loop’
What we say: ‘Good enough for Yahoo, good enough for us’
Pricing: On request, depending on platform service
Founded in 2008 with headquarters in Boston, Localytics analytics are used by companies such as ESPN, eBay, Fox, and the New York Times in more than 20,000 apps on more than 1.4 billion devices. Its User Profiles service is relatively new and allows Localytics to collect, manage and share all relevant data about users across platforms. What’s interesting about Profiles is that it analyses user attributes irrespective of time dimensions, or when a session was set and offers, for example, ‘last dimension values and a users inclusion in groups, and other demographic information.
What they say: ‘Only Localytics brings app marketing and analytics together’
What we say: ‘A relatively small company that punches above its weight – ripe for a takeover?’
Pricing: Check website for a free trial
Established in 2011, the founders of Kochava came from a gaming background and realised there was a gap for precision analytics. Working with the likes of Google, Yahoo and Facebook, Kochava boasts over 900 official integrations with mobile ad networks, publishers, and exchanges. When it comes to ‘data fidelity’ Kochava guarantees at least 99.98% uptime, and offers its clients real-time measurement, attribution, analytics, and optimization.
What they say: ‘Our vision is to enable our customers to easily “Unite” their mobile empire’
What we say: ‘Dubbed “Ratings King” by VentureBeat, that’s hard to beat!’
Pricing: Various – it will match any terms from other companies and structure individual pricing models
Born from a merger of Kontagent and PlayHaven in late 2013, Upsight delivers advanced analytics. Key to its success in a crowded market is its recently relaunched Upsight DataMine. It’s a beefed-up mobile business intelligence platform running twice the speed of its predecessor with a number of new capabilities to help data analysts and marketers better connect their data across multiple channels while exporting that valuable data faster through an API or CSV export. DataMine even pairs with existing business intelligence solutions for easy data visualization.
What they say: ‘The leading enterprise analytics and marketing platform for mobile apps’
What we say: ‘The new DataMine platform is definitely worth a spin!’
Pricing: A free edition for unlimited apps with custom events for up to 50k monthly active users to an ‘Enterprise’ package including sophisticated analytics & marketing tools with dedicated support
Grab Analytics & Grab Games is led by CEO Anthony Borquez and the company has transformed from an indie LA startup to a full-on digital partner. The Grab Analytics platform tracks users to see how often they’re coming back and how much money they’re spending. It created a buzz in 2014 by partnering with Twitter and developing Flightly to launch a suite of tools that helps advertisers identify and track user behaviour from a single Tweet to a purchase, allowing for more precise targeted ad strategies.
What they say: ‘The easiest analytics you’ll ever use’
What we say: ‘The Twitter tie-n is another big win for Grab’
Pricing: ‘Get started for free. Only pay for what you need’
Aimed at the games market, Party Track is a funky, all-singing, all dancing user acquisition analytics tool for mobile games that helps developers discover where their most valuable players are coming from. Owned by Tokyo-based global mobile app marketing company Adways, it completed a business tie-up with 5Rocks recently, a growth hacking tool for smartphone apps that is now fully integrated to Party Track providing app developers with analysis, intelligence and live operation service.
What they say: ‘Get your game on’
What we say: ‘Analytics has never been so much fun!’
Pricing: monthly subscription fee
The French Ad re-targeting giant Criteo needs no introduction here as it is one of the global leaders in performance display, with $198b sales transactions analyzed in 2013, 994 million unique users globally and 6,000+ advertisers across 50+ countries. What sets Criteo apart from other ad tech companies is that its results are measured purely on its post-click performance. Criteo partners with over 2,200 leading ecommerce brands and operates in 32 countries across five continents. Something missing? Mobile Ad Tracking. Criteo found itself behind the mobile curve in 2013, so acquired startup AD-X Tracking.
What they say: ‘The power of data and technology’
What we say: ‘One-stop is now all you need with Criteo’
Pricing: Upon asking
Formed in 2009, App Annie’s meteoric rise to become one of the leading mobile analytics services has been impressive. Carving out a reputation for its business intelligence, and analytics, the company claims to have over 270,000 registered users and more than 600,000 mobile apps using its platform to track app downloads, rankings, and earnings. If that’s not enough, its analytics product has tracked more than 79 billion downloads and US$22 billion of app store revenue across iOS and Google Play, making it one of the largest companies globally in terms of app store market data tracked. In addition to this, App Annie offers a mobile advertising analytics service that tracks activity across a number of different mobile ad networks.
What they say: ‘Helping businesses do “The Math Behind the App Stores”’
What we say: ‘It has a reputation as a reliable source for market insights’
Pricing: Various, from free, pro to intelligence
As we mentioned in the beginning, some commentators in the industry expect that the number of startups providing mobile analytics will be significantly reduced in future, as companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter either absorb them or cut them loose in favour of their own proprietary analytics tools. However, for now there is clearly a need for new services in this area to help solve the problems around mobile advertising analytics. Hopefully this list has provided a good overview of the top mobile ad analytics tools and services that are currently available.