Tune Q&A: Ian Sefferman talks unpaid user acquisition and MobileDevHQ buyout


Tune is the recently rebranded company that runs HasOffers and Mobile App Tracking, two tools that help people create their own ad networks and measure their mobile marketing performance. Last month the Seattle-based firm decided to expand into App Store Optimization and unpaid user acquisition with the buyout of MobileDevHQ. We caught up with MobileDevHQ’s founder – and now Tune’s head of inbound – Ian Sefferman to find out more on the strategy behind his company’s acquisition.

Tune Q&A:  Unpaid user acquisition and MobileDevHQ buyout

Ian Sefferman, head of inbound, Tune

seffermanWhy branch out into ASO and unpaid acquisition, is this something Tune’s existing customer base was calling for?

Yes. App marketers are continually bemoaning having multiple dashboards for different channels and stages of the user lifecycle. They see the virtuous impact that ASO/inbound acquisition and paid acquisition have on each other, and want a way to be able to manage both simultaneously and in a single dashboard, increasing their ROI and their efficiency as a marketer.

What kind of interplay is there between paid and unpaid acquisition that Tune can now start taking advantage of?

We’re already doing analysis on how paid and inbound/organic acquisition work together in the app store and it’s very, very clear that if a marketer focuses on both, they are able to dramatically increase the overall number and quality of installs of their marketing campaigns.

Paid acquisition is becoming more and more costly, so do you see more opportunity in organic when it comes to smaller devs and will you now be focusing efforts on attracting more devs on a budget?

No matter how you slice it, both paid and inbound are important channels for app marketers large and small. We think both sets of marketers (small, indie developers, and large enterprises) need tools for app marketing, and that’s why we offer plans that are free for indie developers and plans that are catered towards large developers.

There seems to be a lot of consolidation going on in the app analytics space recently, do you think this will continue? And do you think it’s becoming more difficult for analytics platforms to really stand-out?

The app ecosystem is growing quickly, the tools are getting better, and the marketers are getting more sophisticated. As this happens, it’s natural for a nascent industry to consolidate into a few winners. At TUNE, our goal is to help app marketers be as great as they can possibly be, and we’ll continue to offer the best solution in the ecosystem for those marketers, whether that means through building it ourselves or acquiring it where possible.

Will you guys try integrating some kind of monetisation services into your offerings in the future, like the PlayHaven/Kontagent merger Upsight?

The simple answer is no. We believe there is a very real and substantial need for an unbiased software provider for mobile marketers, and our mission is to help the whole ecosystem to work better together. That said, we will work hard to improve the ways marketers can work with inventory and partners, but we do not plan to move into a position of taking part in monetization directly. We will continue to charge for our products as software as a service and not as part of ad spend.

You can find out more about Tune by visiting the website. Though for the time being MobileDevHQ has a separate site here.