Announcement

Announcement

Today we are super excited to announce a new feature by SOOMLA. It allows app publishers who use in-app ads to see exactly what apps are being promoted to their users. After upgrading to the latest version of our SDK, the new screen should look like this:

Screen shot of the new advertiser screen available through SOOMLA TRACEBACK platform - each row contains an advertiser that places ads in the app of the customer

We believe this type of information would be quite useful for publishers. Here are some of the potential use cases that we heard from the market:

Compliance to policy

Most ad-networks allow you to block certain advertisers. This is typically used by publishers to prevent competitors from poaching their users as well as to block inappropriate content. The ad-networks can comply or not comply with the requests and the publisher don’t have a way to know unless they have employees in each and every country to monitor what ads are presented.

Frequency monitoring

Showing the same ad to the same user 100 times is not a good user experience and most likely not the best monetization tactic. This tool allows you to spot such problems and address them with your ad partners.

Comparing ad-networks Apples to Apples

Many ad-networks run the same campaigns but the eCPM received by the publisher is not always the same. The new feature gives the publisher the opportunity to compare the eCPM of the same campaign across different networks.

The power of an API

The ability to know who is advertising your app is powerful on it’s own but it becomes even more powerful as publishers can access it via API and combine it with the granular revenue per user and the CPM per impression that is available through SOOMLA TRACEBACK.

 

If you wnat to start measuring your ad monetization and know who is advertising in your app you should check out SOOMLA TRACEBACK – Monetization Measurement Platform.

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Announcement

The waterfall screen shows the ecpm decay for your mobile app

We recently added a new screen to TRACEBACK dashboard called “Waterfall”. You can access it once you are in the analytics mode viewing one of your apps. This post will go through the basics of this screen and how to use it. Here is what we will cover:

  • The goal of the screen
  • How to set up a view that is productive
  • Comparison Table section
  • eCPM decay chart
  • Ad Network Comparison section

Goal of the screen

This screen is the first time publishers get a chance to look at their eCPM decay. It expands the horizons of what data publishers can access and opens up a world of possibilities. It is an important screen since ad-networks’ yield should be compared Apples to Apples. Publishers often develop a sentiment towards one ad-network since they see higher eCPM coming from that network. In reality this could simply be a result of waterfall position and not related to the ad-network. This screen fixes that!

There are many other implications. Publishers can realize that they need to change their ad-network mix, they might change the way they integrate ads into the game as a result and they will also have more productive discussions with their ad-network partners.

Setting up the view

This screen is highly flexible which means users can easily set up views that are not productive for them. Our recommendation is to set up as follows:

  • Single country at a time
  • Single ad-type at a time
  • Select a date range that brings the total #1 impressions to at least 100,000 impressions
  • Focus on 2-3 ad-networks that generate volume and remove
  • Ignore eCPM rates when impression volume is lower than 10,000

These guidelines will allow you to make the most out of this screen.

Comparison Table section

The first section of the screen is a table with full details about what is hapening in every impression number. Publishers can look at each ad-network and see the number of impressions, the total revenue generated by that impression number and the eCPM all broken down by the impression number.

img_3557

eCPM Decay chart

The middle section gives the avaraged eCPM that the publisher receives for every impression number. The darker bars are the Actual eCPM – the avarage across all selected ad-networks for the segment filtered by the user. The optimal eCPM represented by the brighter bars is the maximal eCPM given by one of the ad-networks. Note that today the Optimal eCPM bars ignores the fill rate of the ad-networks and is therefore better than the achievable eCPM.

In the example below you can see quite a big difference between the average and optimal eCPM. This is likely due to a low fill rate by AdMob.

NOTE: It is wise to ignore eCPM rates when the impression volumes are lower than 10,000. Here this happens on the 5th impression for the Optimal eCPM and on the 9th impression for the average eCPM.

img_3558

Ad Network Comparison section

The last section includes a chart and a table and it visualizes very easily what ad-networks got to serve what impression. The stacked bar chart represents impression volume and each color is a different ad network. The table below the chart shows the eCPM paid by each ad-network for each impression count.

In the example below, you can see that Chartboost and Admob split the first impression 50%-50% but Admob part is declining quickly and almost disappears by the 5th impression. The table below the chart shows that AdMob eCPM is much higher compared to Chartboost for this segment – which bags the question – why is AdMob not serving more ads. This could be a result of low fill rate by AdMob or bad choices made by the mediation.

img_3559

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Announcement, Resource

app nanny is a free tool for app research

Today we are proud to continue the tradition of making free and open source tools with the launch of App Nanny. App Nanny is a unique tool made for mobile industry insiders who need to research apps quickly using Google or the App Stores. The tool simply surfaces key information about the app inside the search results so you don’t have to go back and forth in your browser in order to find interesting apps.

App Nanny enhances your app research experience

App nanny adds more information in cards when you search for apps The new tool is a Chrome extension which means that you install it with one click and after that App Nanny works behind the scenes and slightly modifies your app research experience. There are 2 main differences you will notice:

  • App cards will appear in your search results on Google
  • More information will appear in app thumbnails in Google Play and The App Store

What information App Nanny provides

The extension brings information from the app main page into your search results and thumbnails. The information is selected to help you identify the apps that you were looking for:app nanny adds information snippets when searching in google for cool apps

  • Main image (in Google search results)
  • Download count (in Google play)
  • Last update date
  • App publisher
  • Genre
  • Bundle ID

App Nanny saves you time while researching apps

Let’s focus on an example to see why App Nanny is great. Say you are researching for a blog post called “Top 10 Match 3 Games” you would need to search Google or the app stores and track mainly the name of the game, the image and the game popularity but you would also want to see if the game is recently updated. Let’s say that you would need to screen 200 candidates to find the top 10. It means you need to open 200 app pages and scroll down each one to find the relevant information. With App Nanny on the other hand – you get this info directly in the search results so you can save valuable time.

Improve your ASO with App Nanny

Another cool way to use App Nanny is to find out which terms are popular and the competition level. Searching Google Play for the keyword “banana” and the word “dash” allows you to quickly see that there are a lot more dashing apps and that they have a lot more downloads if you combine them. You can also see apps that have not being updated for sometime. These usually present an opportunity.

Hope you also find it cool and useful like we do. Feel free to give it a shot and give us any feedback that will help us improve it.

 

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Announcement

Goow_Shutdown

[EDIT: On July 22nd, SOOMLA launched it’s new product TRACEBACK]

[check out http://soom.la to learn more]

We have a difficult announcement to make. Beginning today we’re winding down the GROW service.

Over the past 2 years we had a huge vision to create a community of all the game developers in the world and allow them to share analytics and insights. We envisioned a shared database that will allow the community members access to the same data tools as the “big guys”.

The GROW network has been growing quickly and we achieved every growth milestone we have set for ourselves. However, we came to realize that the product just doesn’t solve a big-enough problem for its customers. As a company that always strives to generate value for its customers, we’ve decided to shut down GROW to make room for new products that solve bigger problems.

GROW will be shut down on May 31st 2016.

This includes Whales Report, God Mode Analytics, Basic Analytics, The Sync Service, Highway and the Receipt Validation Service (Fraud Protection). [CORRECTION: Fraud Protection / Receipt Validation will keep running until July 31st 2016 – at which point it will be included as part of the new product]

As we are doing the transition it is very important for us to make sure we are giving you enough notice to find other solutions and to make sure the negative impact is minimal.

You can find answers to most of your questions below. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us to support@soom.la

FAQ

Q: What about SOOMLA Store and Profile?
A: The open source projects will still be available on Github for the community to continue to use and maintain them. In addition, the paid packages in the Unity Asset Store will stay there for the benefit of the community [EDIT: we will remove the Unity Asset Store Packages on Nov 30th 2016 and will no longer provide support after Dec 31st 2016]. There are a few power users in the community that agreed to stay as moderators and take over the support for the projects.

Q: What do I need to do to minimize impact on my game users?
A: We recommend removing the Highway SDK from your game before May 31st. SOOMLA will not be responsible for any production issues in games that have the Highway SDK after May 31st.

Q: I use GROW Ultimate. how can I switch to SOOMLA Store?
A: If you’re using one of the GROW bundles you will notice in your game project that they are made from separate packages. Removing the Highway SDK will allow SOOMLA Store and Profile to work with no issues. 

Q: What about the Receipt Verification / Fraud Protection Service?
A: The receipt verification service will stop functioning as a stand alone service on May 31st. [CORRECTION: Fraud Protection / Receipt Validation will keep running until July 31st 2016]

Q: Is SOOMLA Shutting Down?
A: Not at all. We have a strong team and investors who believe in the new vision of the company. We are still planning to change the world but in a different way this time.

Q: What is the new product about?
A: The new product is going to be called SOOMLA Traceback. We can’t tell you what it is but we will announce it very soon. If your game monetizes mainly with ads stay tuned for more details.

If your game uses ads for monetization and you wish to be data driven about it – Check out SOOMLA TRACEBACK.

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Announcement

(1200x600) New Ad Network Integrations

New Ad Networks

As promised we have now added even more Ad Network integrations! We’re talking about the much anticipated Unity Ads as well as AdMob and Vungle. You can find them all in the integrations page or in the Ad Networks section if you haven’t already integrated any Ad Network.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 11.43.11

This means that you can get super fast analytics on your selected Ad Networks and actually analyze your metrics and your Ad performance (interstitials, videos, banners…) – all within the GROW dashboard.

The coolest thing about all this is that the integration is easy and fast! All integrations are a simple import to Unity, adding your Game and Environment keys and a prefab – that’s it!

Once you click on one of the Ad Network integrations you reach the specific integration page where you can download the relevant Unity package and see the simple integration steps.

GROW Comparison

If you tend to compare your data across several date ranges, countries and devices then this feature is for you – no more clicking between multiple browser tabs!

In order to compare your data all you have to do is tick the new Compare checkbox at the top of the screen and a second set of filters will be displayed:

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 15.11.55

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 15.16.05

Once you choose the desired filters for comparison all the data and graphs below will show you the compared data, each filter in a different color.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 15.03.09

The comparison is available in all of the dashboard sections, including the Ad Networks so you can compare your Ad Networks and see which one’s better for your game in one simple screen.

Go check out these new toys and drop us a line if you have any comments or special requests.

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Announcement

(1200x600) Chartboost Integration

You can now see your ad network data in the GROW Dashboard. You’ll find impressions, clicks, CTR, clicks per user and more!

We started with adding the Chartboost integration for Unity and in the following weeks we’ll be adding more ad integrations such as Unity Ads, AdMob and RevMob.

The integration is so easy it’s magical

You can find the new Chartboost Integration in the new Ad Network section or in the Integrations page in the GROW Dashboard:

chartboost_Menu

 

To integrate Chartboost download and import the Unity package from the Chartboost Integration page. Import the package into Unity, go to Window > GROW Settings in the menu bar, then add your game and environment keys into the fields in the GROW Panel. Click theChartboost_GROWPanel “Integrate GROW into current scene” button – and that’s it!!

Why is this so important for developers?

We believe that integrating ad network data into the GROW dashboard will provide lots of value for game developers.

  1. Compare ad revenue vs. IAP revenue: lots of F2P games have multiple revenue sources, but the tools aren’t geared for showing all of them in one place comparatively. With GROW ad network integration you’ll soon be able to do this.
  2. Ad Network Audit: having another set of eyes on your clicks and impressions is always good. Use our metrics to compare and validate what you see in ad network’ dashboards.
  3. Unified dashboard: our long term vision is to provide developers with one dashboard to rule them all.  No need to switch between tabs, export CSVs from multiple sources, and fumble with different metrics from different platforms.  We’re building a one-stop-shop for all analytics purposes with developer happiness in mind.

What will you see in the dashboard?

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Accidental Clicks
  • CTR – Click Through Rate (Conversion)
  • Avg. Clicks Per User
  • Avg. Impressions Per User
  • Avg. Video View Length

chartboost_dashboard

You can also break down the data by device for impressions and clicks, and a statistical breakdown by Ad types.

This is all just for one ad network. Once more integrations are added you’ll be able to compare and see which ad network performs best – you can hold your breath because the next integration will already be out by next week!

Start now and go to the GROW Dashboard.

If you have any comments, requests or anything else, just drop us a line.

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Announcement, Unity

(1200x600) GROWAnalytics

With 2016 come new SOOMLA dashboard features. We’re excited to release our God Mode Analytics plus two new integrations with Facebook and UnityIAP.

God Mode Analytics

Our newest feature in the dashboard lets you discover analytics of other games in the GROW network! You can search for games that are similar to yours and actually see their metrics and overlapping user behavior.God Mode

You can see other game’s analytics in ranges, however, the game itself remains anonymous.  Finding games is easy using our tag-based search.  Just start typing in the search bar and select the tags you’d like to search for.  You can see the full list of tags in our tags dictionary.

God Mode Tags

Mutual Discovery

An important part of God Mode Analytics is keeping games anonymous.  If, however, you find a game that you are particularly interested in, you can send that game a “Reveal” request.  The developer of that game can then approve your request.  Once the connection is made, fellow developers can see each others’ studio name, game name and game icon, as well as precise numbers instead of ranges in each others’ analytics.  Mutual discovery is time limited, allowing you to explore your friend’s game (given their approval) for one week, one month or a full year.

God Mode #Analytics allows you to see data from #games similar to yours and compare performance Click To Tweet

God Mode Analytics coupled with Mutual Discovery opens a whole new opportunity for data-driven game design.  With knowledge of what’s working for others, and what your users particularly do in other games, you can enhance and optimize your current game, or build the next one with new insights.

You can also find games that are super successful and decide that your new game will be similar, it’s always good to develop something you know people will like.

God Mode - Reveal Game

Integrations

GROW for Facebook

If you’re already working with the Facebook SDK for Unity in your game and want to add GROW to start collecting analytics about social events, all you have to do is import the GROW Facebook integration from the Integrations page.Integrations

You’ll be directed to a page with the integration steps:
1. Download the package.

Integration_Facebook_step1
2. Import it to your Unity project.Import GROW FB
3. Open the GROW settings.FB GrowSettingsMenu


4. Now copy & paste the Game and Environment Keys from the integration page to your project.Integration_Facebook_step25. Add the prefabs simply by clicking the button in the panel.

And you’re done, just build and run your app to start working with GROW Analytics!

GROW for UnityIAP

If you want to add GROW to your project and you’re already working with UnityIAP the integration is super simple – just like the Facebook integration. Go to the dashboard integrations page and import the UnityIAP for GROW package. From here the steps are exactly like the Facebook integration – fast and simple, enjoy!

As always, if you have any comments, ideas or questions we’d love to hear about them, just drop us a line 🙂

Wanna see it before you try it? Check out our demo video to learn more about GROW and God Mode Analytics.

Watch Video

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Announcement, Open Source

Open Source

One of the perks of being an open source company is having a community of developers who not only use your product, but also contribute new and exciting features, ideas and bug fixes to it. Your product is constantly being reviewed, integrated and tested in various use cases, which leads to loads of (hopefully) great and positive feedback, but also (inevitably) reports of bugs and other issues the developers come across.

One of the duties of these open source companies is to take that feedback from the developers and make the best use of it. This both improves the quality of the product and keeps the developers happy.

SOOMLA & Open Source

SOOMLA is one such open-source company, and as such we try to do the most for our developers by implementing desired functionality and adding requested features.

Keeping Your Unity3D libs Updated

One frequently requested feature was to simplify the update process of Unity3D SOOMLA modules. Since importing a .unitypackage into Unity3D doesn’t override existing files, developers who wanted to update SOOMLA were required to manually find all of SOOMLA’s libs and files (which were scattered everywhere), remove them, and only then import the new updated SOOMLA libs. SOOMLA solved this problem with 3 new long-awaited features:

  1. Move all of SOOMLA’s libs into a Soomla folder – each supported platform (Android, iOS and WP8) in the `Plugins` folder now has a `Soomla` folder in it, containing all of SOOMLA’s libraries.
  2. Create a `Remove SOOMLA` script allowing a developer to remove SOOMLA entirely.
  3. easy as pieCreate a `Remove` script for each module – allowing the removal (and update) of a single module.

These features were made to ensure that updating SOOMLA is as easy as pie.

Integration Without Prefabs

One more feature to make SOOMLA’s Unity3D developers’ life a little better was removing the prefabs. Every integration required that the SOOMLA prefabs were dragged & dropped into the main scene, thus adding another integration step. As SOOMLA strives to make its integration as simple as possible, removing them was an important step towards an easier integration. The new release incorporates a new mechanism of instantiating the necessary game objects for event handling at runtime, allowing the removal of these prefabs, resulting in an simpler integration process.

spartonix_header_logoThis new update to streamlined integration was made possible with the help of Omer Leshem, founder of gaming studio Spartonix and a member of our developer community. This proves once again that developers can do more together!

Speak Up!

As always, SOOMLA is open to new ideas, so if you have anything you’d like to share, feel free to do so on our forum.

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Announcement, Unity

Unity Prefabs

Unity PrefabsRemember those SOOMLA Prefabs you were required to drag & drop into your main scene in order to receive and handle events? Well, they’re gone!

You now have a new way of initializing event listeners without those prefabs – by dynamically creating the game objects in runtime.

The new event system is available from the following versions:

  • Core v1.2.0+
  • Store v1.9.0+
  • Profile v2.2.0+
  • LevelUp v1.1.0+

Ever had problems updating SOOMLA?

That’s why we released a new version and we now have a script to easily remove SOOMLA from Unity, in order to add an updated version straight away. This change makes the whole process of updating SOOMLA much simpler and saves you time – you even have an option to remove and update only a specific module.

Are all your SOOMLA packages up to date?

There’s a new script that makes sure that all your packages are up to date, if they’re not you’re notified and all you have to do is click the link displayed, in the Unity Editor, and you’ll be downloading the latest version in no time!

A Few More Improvements

SYNC – Our Sync process has been fixed and improved and now the user’s balance is always synced between different devices.

HIGHWAY –  energy consumption has been improved to prolong battery life.

God Mode Analytics – see analytics of other games similar to yours and compare overlapping user behavior.

We’re constantly working on improving our products, drop us a line if you have any comments or special requests.

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Announcement, Game Design

With virtual economy being the most popular choice for mobile freemium games business model, you probably will want to have one of those in your game. Luckily SOOMLA provides you with both the Store bundle for an easy IAP integration and now with an easy way to customize your economy.

Update your virtual economy on the fly

Introducing the Virtual Economy Manager, a new GROW dashboard section you can access in order to review, manage and deploy your virtual economy. The Virtual economy screen allows you to update your virtual economy without releasing an update to the market (App Store or Google Play).
economy-dashboard

First of all you will need to have a hard coded economy configured in your game. checkout the knowledge base to see how it’s done. Then as soon as your device syncs with the Grow network, refresh the economy screen to see your economy. From there on any change you make to the economy from the dashboard will be synced to your game. Now you can create and delete your economy’s categories and currencies as well as create new virtual items and currency packs.

Managing virtual item inventory

add-virtual-goodVirtual items divide into 5 categories: Single Use, Single Use Pack, Lifetime, Equippable and Upgrade. You can create them all using the add virtual good button:

  • Single Use The most basic and common kind of virtual good, can be purchased by your users multiple times. No limits! Examples: bullets, hoverboards, “save me”, 30-second speed boost
  • Single Use PackSometimes, you’ll want to to sell packs of Single Use goods. To support these cases, we’ve created the Single Use Pack. Examples: ammo packs, 3 “save me”s.
  • LifetimeA Lifetime virtual good can only be bought once and then it is kept forever. Examples: “Remove Ads”, double speed, new car.
  • EquippableAn Equippable virtual good is a special type of Lifetime virtual good. In addition to the fact that it can be purchased once, it can also be equipped by your users. Equipping means that the user decides to currently use a specific Equippable virtual good.  Examples: characters, weapons, outfits.  This type of good is commonly used in first person shooters where the player switches back and forth between different weapons.
  • UpgradeAn Upgrade virtual good is a virtual good in an upgrade sequence belonging to another virtual good. The associated virtual good can be of any type (Single Use, Equippable, etc..).  Examples are anything that can be upgraded on a dimensional scale: speed, power, energy.  You’ll see this a lot in racing games where the game progression depends a lot with upgrading your car’s tires, engine, gear etc.

Items can be purchased with either a virtual currency defined in your economy or with one of the market places (App Store, Google play, etc.). Once you made all your changes, don’t forget to deploy your new economy by clicking on the deploy economy button that will be displayed as soon as you have pending changes.

add-deploy-delete-economy

If you want to discard your changes after you already deployed your new economy click on the Delete Economy button. The economy will be synced right back with the hard coded economy the next time someone will load your game on his mobile device.

Developers using GROW already have the virtual economy management available, as always for free, in their dashboard.  We encourage you to try it and send your feedback our way.

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SOOMLA - An In-app Purchase Store and Virtual Goods Economy Solution for Mobile Game Developers of Free to Play Games