Research

Marketing, Research

Singular ROI Index symbol with a banner saying best ad networks over a blue background

About a week ago Singular released a very interesting study ranking different traffic sources or user acquisition channels according to how much return on ad spend they bring for companies using them. Return on ad spend (ROAS) or marketing ROI has been a critical KPI for marketers in the mobile ecosystems. It allows decision makers to compare marketing activities not only by the amount of received installs but also by how much dollars were received from users who arrived through the channel and compare cost vs. return on each channel sperately.

The Singular ROI index

The study can be downloaded via this link – Singular ROI Index. It ranks the top 20 ad-networks in terms of ROAS for Android and the top 20 for iOS. It also draws some interesting insights about the differences between these two ecosystems. It finds that despite higher CPIs on iOS the ROI is 1.3x when compared to the ROI for the same app on Android running via the same ad-network. This is partially due to higher average payout on iOS.

What about Ad Revenue

The report is lacking in one aspect – it only accounts for In App Purchase revenues for ROAS calculation. A more complete view on ROAS today would consider 3 elements for each channel:

  • Cost for that media channel
  • IAP revenue made by users who came through the channel
  • Ad revenue generated by users who came through that channel

Factoring in the ad-revenue generated from in-app ads in the ROAS calculation is becoming more and more important as the change in the mobile monetization landscape continues. This means that ad-networks who bring users who don’t convert to payers but do convert into ad-whales are under indexed in Singular’s report and networks who brings users who convert to payers but don’t contribute any ad-revenue are over indexed in the report.

Your own ROAS should also consider ad revenue

If you are using Singular for calculating your own ROAS, your decisions may be subject to the same measurement errors. Fortunately, there are already solutions for attributing ad revenue and completing your ROAS picture such as SOOMLA TRACEBACK consider using them and connecting them to Singular.

Feel free to share:
Research

Top grossing games have been complementing their game monetization with ad revenue

The past few weeks we have been working hard to conduct an important game monetization research and are proud to show the results today.

The typical profile of a top 100 grossing game

There are number of platforms that allow you to find out the top 100 grossing games. We used mostly AppAnnie for that. The top gorssing games are typically ones that select IAP as their game monetization model. The games often come from proven genres like Casino, Match-3 and Hard-core Strategy. Many of the use external IP from movies, TV or console games. The companies behind most of these games have significant investment in BI, analytical infrastructure based on data warehousing and CRM that allows drilling down to the single user level. These companies typically have annual ad budgets of over $10M to acquire users for their top grossing games since they are able to see ROI on their ad spend.

For a full list of the top 100 grossing games in the US see these links – iPhone & Android.

Ad pentration is over 50% among top grossing games

In a previous post we revealed that Zynga makes 30% of it’s game monetization from ads. The gaming giant is not alone and many other companies are following the trend. While top grossing games by definition excel in IAP based monetization, the ad penetration in this group is higher than you might expect. 52% of the Android games had Ads in them and 59% of the iPhone games. The higher penetration in iPhone games might also surprise some readers as Android is associated more with ad-based game monetization compared to Apple which is considered more premium.

Game monetization choices of the top 100 grossing games in both iPhone and Android. Over 50 percent has ads.

Penetration is lower in the top 10 and grows from spot 11 and after

The second thing we wanted to check was the impact of the store ranking on the likelihood of the game to have ads in it. We had a feeling that the furthest the game will be from the 1st spot the bigger the ad penetration will be. This assumption was proven true in a high level but the trend was more of a step function than a linear trend. The games in ranks 1-10 only had 5% ad penetration while games from rank 11 to 100 were at around 60%.

Ad penetration is stronger in ranks 11-100 in the top 100 grossing games

Simulation genre is leading the ad revolution

Obviously, not all genres are created equal when it comes to game monetization of the top 100 grossing titles. Before we analyzed this aspect, we considered a slightly different definition of genres that is more specific to the top 100 grossing games:

  • HC/MC Strategy – these are strategy games where you build a kingdom or an empire and compete for world domination
  • Simulation – includes simulations of many kinds: city, farm, dragon, cooking and celebrity life
  • Racing – high end raching games
  • Sports – high end sports games such as Madden NFL
  • Fantasy cards – games where the player collects cards and compete PvP against others
  • Real World Card/Dice/Board – these games are based on real world games – Poker, Solitaire, …
  • Action RPG – role playing games where players build charachters and battle against each other
  • Match-3 and Bubble – Games with this specific gameplay of matching 3rds or shooting bubles
  • Casino – games like Slotomania, Heart of Vegas and others

As you would expect the Hard-core and Mid-core strategy games which include titles like Game of War, Mobile Strike, Clash of Clans and Vikings by companies like MZ, Supercell and Plarium are the least likely to adopt ads. The Casino games and Match-3 & Bubble had around average adoption. The genres the lead the adoptions are two:

  • Simulation games
  • Real World Card/Dice/Board

Simulation games and card/dice games are leading the revolution with close to 80% ad penetration in the top 100 grossing games

Ad penetration is increasing over the last 12 months

When we set out to determine if the trend in game monetization is towards ads or away from ads we had a feeling that more and more companies are warming to the idea of in-game ads. The results confirmed our assumptions. While the adoption is growing on both App stores the trend on the top-100 grossing iPhone games is very strong towards adding ads.

The trend is up and to the right as more and more successful titles discover ad based game monetization

 

If your company also have top games with in-game advertising it’s important to know the Advertising revenue per user. Check out SOOMLA Traceback – Ad LTV as a Service.

Learn More

Feel free to share:
Research, Resource

global gaming investor map shows investments in gaming companies by investors all around the world

While I was working on raising a round for SOOMLA I came across a post on local media that showed a map of all the Israeli angel investors. This map was based on a croudsourced spreadsheet that was first initiated by Eden Schochat at Aleph.vc. I thought that it would be really nice if someone made a resource like that for gaming investors.

Why did I create the Global Gaming Investor Map

Gaming investment is a polarizing topic – some investors love gaming and some hate it. There are very few investors that are in between. From this reason, just knowing what investors invest in gaming is super valuable. Beyond that, investors rely on their network for intros so knowing the investments of each investor allows gettting an intro through a portfolio company which is considered a strong intro. The map also shows what investors often invest together and pinpoint hubs of connections that could be key people to know.

the gaming investor map itself contains so much information that it can't be presented as an image and requires a special tool to be useful

A few notes about the map

The map above contains a lot of investors, venture firms, partners, companies and executives but it’s not complete. Surely I missed a many data points. I also know it has duplicates so it’s not perfect. The colors have the following meaning:

  • Green – VC that invests in gaming
  • Blue – Games company
  • Grey – Everything else which is mostly Executives, Partners, Angels and non-gaming companies.

To view the map you need to use mindmup.com or the mobile app.

Note that the map is given with full edit permissions – please don’t use it in ways that will make me regret it. Respect others and help build this resource futher.

 

Feel free to share:
App Monetization, Research, Resource

the top 6 mobile ad mediation platforms compared and reviewed in great detail. The image includes the logos of Ironsource, Mopub, Fyber, Appodeal, Heyzap and AdmobFollowing the success of our recent posts comparing ad-networks, offer wall providers and push notification platforms I’m happy to provide you this research about the leading mediation platforms. We reviewed many candidates and only included platforms with demonstrated market traction and selected to include only platforms that have at least one thing that is unique and great about them.

I highly recommend reading this list alongside our post about the difference between ad-mediation, SSP and ad-server.

We reviewed each of the different providers from a few aspects:

  • Do they mediate on the client side, server side or both
  • Platform and Game Engine support
  • Ad format specialization – video, banner or interstitials
  • Monetization technique – do they charge a fee or place their own ads in return for a free service
  • Reporting user interface – can you understand what needs to be done for optimization
  • Ad network support – how many ad networks from the top 20 they support and are there any big providers missing
  • Special features worth mentioning

We ended up with two lists: one for video mediation and one for banner and interstitial mediation. Here are the top 3 in each category.

Video Oriented Banner Oriented
Fyber Admob
Heyzap Appodeal
Ironsource ( formerly Supersonic) Mopub

 

If your app is monetizing through ads you should get better tools to track your ad-revenue. Check out SOOMLA Traceback – Ad LTV as a Service.

Learn More

 

the logo of fyber, an ad mediation platform for mobile apps with a focus on mobile games and rewarded video

Fyber

Fyber took a strategic decision to put gaming publishers at the focus of the company. Their mediation platform definitely deserves a premium spot in the top 6 list. They focus mostly on SDK level mediation and support every meaningful video ad provider with the exception of Supersonic / Ironsource. Their list for banners and interstitials on the SDK side is a bit shorter but they can source these ads by making the inventory available through their SSP platform. Fyber’s hodling company RNTS recently bought Heyzap and Inneractive but so far they seem to be keeping the brands and the platforms separate.

Fyber’s monetization technique is to make the inventory available to their ad-network. This is the most popular method today but it creates a conflict of interest for the mediation providers who can’t maintain neutrality

Fyber’s reporting interface is easy to use and include important KPIs and metrics. It includes information about active users that is important for publishers to track impression frequency but it fails to track the opt-in ratio and doesn’t provide a good way to track the waterfall optimization. The ability to view performance by segment is also lacking.

Their Unique Advantage: Best coverage for video networks and best coverage for top 20 ad-networks

Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 13

Total ad networks supported: 16

the logo image of mediation provider heyzap, the company was recently bought by RNTS who are also the owner of fyber

Heyzap (Acquired by RNTS/Fyber)

Until recently Heyzap was an independant provider with no ad-network affiliation but since the begining of the year they are in the same family as Fyber and Inneractive and they are all held by RNTS. Their video network coverage is excelent and is done mostly on the client side through SDK adapters. They also have a nice support of interstitial and banner providers.

Fyber monetization technique is to place ads from their own ad-network which is mostly coming from placing the inventory for RTB. They also added demand from Fyber as a default setting in waterfall.

Heyzap’s reporting dashboard is very graphic and includes good visualization of the waterfall configuration alongside the historic eCPM and fill rates. It’s a bit lacking on the metrics and doesn’t include any data on unique users so it’s impossible to analyze ad frequency, opt-in and segments.

Their Unique Advantage: Waterfall visualization and interface simplicity

Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe, Cordova, Buildbox

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 9

Total ad networks supported: 12

Ironsource (formerly Supersonic)ironsource mediation platform came to the company via the acquisition of supersonic. The platform is focus on rewarded video and doing well especially in the gaming sector

Supersonic mediation started as a rewarded video platform but since the acquisition by Ironsource the company have added interstitial and banner support. However, their focus still remains on mediating video through SDK adapters and the only provider not supported on that front is Fyber (and vice versa).

Like Fyber, the mediation technique here is also by placing ads from both Supersonic and Ironsource own demand sources.

The reporting interface is not as shiny as others but still effective. It includes 2 important metrics not supplied in some of the other platforms:

  • The number of active users – this allows to optimize the ad frequency
  • The number of “engaged users” – these are users who engaged with the rewarded video (opted in)

Another cool feature is that the management section indicates the historic eCPM of each ad-network and makes it easy to make waterfall management decisions. The platform is still missing a good visualization that includes fill rate alongside eCPM and the priority that the algorithm gave the ad-networks. Another miss is the lack of breakdown to segments in the reporting dashboard.

Their Unique Advantage: Reporting per user and indication of historic eCPM in auto-pilot mode

Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 12

Total ad networks supported: 13

admob by google is a popular ad mediation platform with great network coverage

Admob by Google

Like the ad-network, Admob’s mediation is better for banners and interstitials and not as good for rewarded video. Their coverage on the video side is lacking Mediabrix and Tapjoy but for banners and interstitials they have the best coverage for both SDK based integrations as well as S2S.

Their monetization method is to place their on ads in the bidding mix. These ads are coming from advertisers on Admob and from Adsense as well so their backfill sometimes includes text ads that might look very random in the context of your app.

Their reporting interface is not good. Google’s line of visually boring reports is a topic on it’s own but on top of that there are some serious challenges in getting the information you will need to see in order to understand what actions to take. The only hope is that Firebase is going to fix all that but we will have to wait and see.

Their Unique Advantage: The widest ad-network coverage

Platform support: iOS, Android, WP7

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 12

Total ad networks supported: 43

AppodealAppodeal are an up and coming mediation player with nice features and great features for small developers

Appodeal is a fast growing startup who already made a name for itself in the mediation space. The company doesn’t have an attached ad-network so can maintain unbiased position and focus on helping the publishers. It support all ad-formats and covers all the important players for banners, interstitials and native ads. On the video side they are missing Fyber, Mediabrix and Supersonic Ads.

One of the unique features about Appodeal is the ability to create custom segments and apply a different logic in this segment. For example, you can decide that females will see less ads or that people with older devices will not get video ads. Another important feature that is not available in all other platforms is the ability to define house ads for cross promotion or direct campaigns. There are also some great features for small developers like auto-registration and advanced payment.

The way Appodeal makes money is by brokering your backfill inventory. This means that when there is no fill from the ad-networks you selected, Appodeal will allow place the inventory on an exchange and allow other networks to bid on it. From this revenue, Appodeal will take their commission.

The reporting interface of Appodeal is simple and effective but it’s lacking on a few aspects. The ability to see the number of clicks is an important feature that other platforms don’t have. However, there is no visibility to the actual waterfall configuration that was set up in a specific day. The ability to track impressions per user and to monitor opt-in ratios for rewarded ads is also missing.

Their Unique AdvantageSegmentation feature and other advanced capabilities

Platform support: iOS, Android, Unity, Adobe, Cocos2d-x, Cordova, Marmalade, tvOS

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 11 through SDK and 2 more through S2S

Total ad networks supported: 25

Mopubmopub mediation and SSP platform provides a combination of ad network optimization alongside access to RTB markets

Mopub are combining an SSP with mediation in the same SDK. The company was acquired by Twitter in 2013 so adding your SDK allows you to receive ads from Twitter advertisers like Facebook Audience Networks gives you exposure to FB advertisers. The platform focus is on banners and interstitials more than on rewarded video. On the video networks they are missing: Applovin, Fyber, Mediabrix and Supersonic and on the banner and interstitial side they are missing Flurry.

Mopub monetization method is to bundle their SSP along side the ad mediation so they get access to the inventory and can get their cut through the ads they are placing.

The dashboard offered for managing the ad-networks is good overall and makes all the main functions easily accessible. The reporting is pretty good but lacking a few features to understand what’s happening on a user level.

Their Unique Advantage: Best access to RTB ads

Platform support: iOS, Android

Ad networks supported out of top 20: 10 through SDK and 1 more through S2S

Total ad networks supported: 11 through SDK and 9 more through S2S

 

These are the top 6 but there are plenty of other platforms out there so feel free to explore and try others. One platform that was pretty close to getting included is Ampiri by Glyspa we recommend checking it out as well.

 

Feel free to share:
Analytics, Research

header image of 7 analytics platforms with ltv reporting

If you want to know your LTV and is using a free analytics platform you might find our online LTV calculators interesting. You can also see our guides for Calculating LTV with Flurry and with Google Analytics.

However, another approach is to upgrade to a paid analytics platforms that offers LTV reporting out of the box. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this feature in any of the free analytics platforms so I guess the only way is to pay the premium. Below you can find 7 tools that offer this option and the following details about each one:

  • Depth of LTV reporting they offer:
    • Historic LTV – this is a report that summarizes the amount of revenue per install. If you wait 180 days
    • LTV prediction report – this is an algorithmic calculation that predicts the LTV early on in the user lifetime based on a formula such as this one
    • Guide for LTV prediction – Some providers offer a resource for using their reports to calculate LTV
  • Platform and engine support – Mobile operating system as well as app building tools and game engines
  • Popularity – based on number of apps that use the platform
  • Price for 1M MAU based on the pricing presented on the provider
Vendor LTV Reporting Platforms and Engines Popularity Price (1M MAU)
Swrve analytics offers ltv reporting out of the box in addition to many other features Historic LTV,  Guides for Prediction iOS, Android, Windows, Unity, PhoneGap Mid  Undisclosed
Historic LTV iOS, Android, Unity High $1,800
DeltaDNA do offer LTV prediction report Historic LTV,  LTV Prediction Report iOS, Android, Unity, GameMaker Low  $15,000
DevtoDev is a new player in the game but they are offering LTV prediction as one of their flagship features Historic LTV,  LTV Forecast Report iOS, Android, Windows, Unity, UE4, Adobe, PhoneGap Low  $2,500
Localytics is a popular platform that offers lifetime value reporting Historic LTV iOS, Android, Windows, Unity, PhoneGap High  Undisclosed
Kissmetrics provides ltv prediction based on the churn ratio Historic LTV,  LTV Prediction Report iOS, Android Mid  $5,000
Omniata offers 60 day and 90 day ltv prediction Historic and Predictive LTV iOS, Android, Unity Low  Undisclosed

Honorable mention goes to Upsight. The company is offering a very flexible solution and are trusted by some of the industry leaders. Before they merged and rebranded their Kontagent platform did have LTV prediction and while the current platform don’t support this feature I’m sure it will be added back in the future.

If you want to also analyze and predict the LTV for your advertising revenue – now there is a solution. Check out SOOMLA Traceback – Ad LTV as a Service.

Learn More

Feel free to share:
Industry Forecasts, Research

Zynga_s_Financial_ReportsOne of the things I learned a while ago but was recently reminded of by one of our advisors is that you can learn a lot from the financial reports of public companies. Lectures in industry events, blog posts and news articles are great sources of data but you never know the exact context and how accurate the data is. Financial reports are much more reliable.

Zynga’s ad revenue is growing

The motivation to check Zynga’s ad revenues came because in the past 3 months I’m suspecting that there is a growing trend in mobile games to rely more heavily on advertising revenues. Most of the data points I had, however, were based on unreliable sources so I wanted to check with a source I can trust as well – financial reports.

So here are the results. Zynga ad revenue grew from $74M in 2011 to $173M in 2015. 2.3x in 4 years while their in-game revenues went down 40%.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.51.47 PM

Moreover, the ratio of the ad revenue from the overall revenue is also growing dramatically from 7% to 23% in just 4 years. In their last reports Zynga released information that their Q4 and Q1 ad revenues accounted for 30% and 26% of their total revenues. Their Q1/16 ad revenue grew 41% compared to the Q1 revenues in 2015.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.54.29 PM

What’s driving the trend towards advertising based monetization

There are many drivers for this trend. Here are a few that I’ve spotted:

  • Brand budgets are starting to go mobile.
  • Video ads bring high eCPMs from brand campaigns as well as app trailers.
  • App publishers are learning to integrate more ads in non-intrusive ways and are feeling more comfortable with increased ad exposure

The first driver is the most important one that will lead future growth in the next years. There are forecasts by eMarketer showing that mobile advertising will grow 3x in the next 4 years.

 

If your company also makes significant ad revenues it’s important to know the Advertising revenue per user. Check out SOOMLA Traceback – Ad LTV as a Service.

Learn More

Feel free to share:
Research, Resource

(1200x600) Push Notification Platforms

If someone asked you to single out the one, most important communication element of today’s smartphone, what would it be? Making a phone call probably isn’t, as more and more people use smartphones for a lot of stuff, but phoning isn’t one of them.

So, what else? According to various experts, Gigwalk CEO Ariel Seidman being one of them, it’s push notifications that take the crown. He calls it ‘tapping people on the shoulder’, and that’s a big deal because it’s virtually impossible to tap such a vast amount of people on the shoulder, basically at the same time.

Such an important feature which can be integrated into any mobile app or game deserves tons of attention, and in this article I will list some of the most popular and best mobile push notification platforms out there.

But before I proceed with the list, let’s first take a look at what push notifications actually are and how they’re being used today.

What is a push notification?

There are two types of notifications on today’s smartphones, called push notifications and pull notifications. A pull notification is created when the user asks the server for particular information. To put it in simple terms, a user must be using a particular app, and ask for particular info, in order to get it from the app. For example, if you use an app to monitor football results and open it to refresh it to get the latest info – you’ll receive a pull notification because, as the name suggests, you pulled the info. Another example would be a weather forecasting app – if you open it and tap refresh to get the latest data on the temperature and the forecast, you’ll be getting a pull notification.

Example of a push notification. Credit: Eric Ritchey / Flickr

Example of a push notification. Credit: Eric Ritchey / Flickr

Push notifications work differently – users don’t necessarily need to use the app or game in that particular moment for it to send a notification to the user. Every time you receive a Facebook or Twitter message, or a breaking news story that appears on your locked smartphone screen, you’re actually looking at a push notification.

Users usually need to opt-in to receive such notifications, and options to control them are usually presented to the user just after an app is installed. Of course, every app allows for this feature to be turned off or back on at any particular time.

Problems with push notifications

This function, however, should not be as straightforward as it is today.

Siedman sees two distinct ways developers should communicate with the user – either through push notifications, or via email. He compares those two to tapping people on the shoulder or sending them actual mail. Out of that he draws one simple conclusion: what type of content deserves to be delivered by tapping people on the shoulder, and what should be sent via mail, to be consumed when there’s more time?

Privacy and intimacy vs annoyance and distraction is what is at play here, and a lot of developers don’t seem to notice the difference, pushing notifications for things that can wait, ultimately leads people to turning off the feature completely.

And just like that, you’ve lost an amazing way to communicate with your users, to send them notifications about any special offers and innovations you might have been offering at the moment.

The problem here lies in the way push notifications are handled – they can either be turned on or off, often there’s no middle ground. This is a shame because, as Siedman sees it, you don’t simply allow or prevent everyone in real life to tap you on the shoulder. Some people can do it, others can’t. Usually there are no push notifications for specific topics within a game or app, and that is something developers should have in mind before deciding to implement push notifications.

Here are the top ten #pushnotification platforms! Click To Tweet

Now that we know what push notifications are, how they work and what the biggest obstacles to their proper functioning are, let’s take a look at some of the best platforms for the service you can find.

urban airship#1 Urban Airship

One of the oldest and most popular push notification platforms is Urban Airship. Founded in 2009, it is usually the first place where app developers in need of mobile app optimization go. It has tens of thousands of apps using it, and offers various types of pushes, including pushing to a particular platform (iOS or Android) or specifically tagged devices (tagged beforehand).

Its biggest setback seems to be pricing – many users claim they’re significantly more expensive than the competition. The first million pushes each month are free, after that – every push costs $0.001 and every rich media push costs $0.0025.

pushwoosh#2 PushWoosh

Push Woosh is a close second, and a real contender to the number one spot. Its most popular features include the localization option, which allows devs to send push notifications in different languages with one click, based on the language settings each receiver has on its phone, as well as the rich free plan. The free account offers support for five apps and a million devices, that can get an unlimited amount of notifications. According to Folio3, PushWoosh has the cheapest premium plan of the bunch, starting at €39.95 per month ($49).

onesignal#3 OneSignal

OneSignal is a relatively young platform, which first appeared in the wild back in March 2013. Besides being able to send push notifications to mobile devices, it can also notify users on PCs through its Web Push API. It supports all the biggest / most important platforms out there, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 (no word on Windows 10 just yet), Chrome Native and Web Push (Chrome, Safari, Firefox). It even supported the now discontinued Amazon Fire. Its biggest advantage is that it offers a free tier that can be used by anyone, from the tiniest to the largest firms. It features per-user localization, segmentation, A/B testing and real-time analytics, just to name a few features. Some people have said they had a few issues setting the platform up, but have praised the support team and said that once set up, works like a charm. OneSignal works well with SOOMLA – game developers can discover potential payers with the GROW Insights API, and segment those users in OneSignal to target them later. You can find more details in this code sample.

carnival#4 Carnival.io

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in New York, Carnival is considered to be one of the most balanced mobile marketing platforms – one which dances perfectly between the needs of developers making the apps, and marketers, actually using both the app and the service. It doesn’t have a price list on its website, so you’ll need to drop them a line if you’re interested, but it seems as they don’t offer a free plan. On the other hand, some developers that have tried the platform say their basic plan starts at $250/month, which breaks down to some $0.007 – $0.01 per monthly active users, which is a pretty solid deal. Its key selling point seems to be good integration with big analytics providers which allows you to submit your events into platforms like Localytics or Mixpanel.

streethawk#5 StreetHawk

StreetHawk is having a hard time floating on top of search engine results as the American TV series of the same name keeps popping up. It’s selling itself as a complete mobile engagement platform which can help you increase the lifetime value of your users. It offers some nifty and rich actions without programming requirements, including rich media push notifications, advanced analytics, geofences and iBeacons. It offers three pricing plans, ‘Start’, ‘Engage’ and ‘Predict’, where Start is free for up to 10,000 users. The platform also offers free trial for the other two plans, but if you want exact prices, you’ll have to send them a nudge. Here’s where its downside also seems to be hiding, as some developers have called StreetHawk’s pricing plans “one of the more complicated plan structures out there”.

pushIO#6 Push.io

With a key selling point in the AutoPush service, Push.io aims to be the number one solution for businesses looking to automate a few features. Through AutoPush, users can automate both building and serving push notifications. Push.io is a B2B company founded in 2009, and acquired by Responsys in 2014. Soon after, Responsys was itself acquired by Oracle, which is why when you navigate to Push.io, you’re forwarded to Oracle’s Mobile Marketing sub-page. Its biggest disadvantage seems to be this website, which is a complete mess, and can discourage people from pursuing the service at all. It does not offer a free plan and seems to be on the expensive side, with a 30-day trial for $99. The same price goes for 25,000 push notifications.

airpush#7 Airpush

Airpush is more than ‘just’ a push notifications platform – it’s a full-blown mobile ad monetization network which also happens to offer push notifications, as well. The company boasts having more than 150,000 apps using it, and being ranked #2 on the Forbes list of Most Promising Companies in 2014. Besides offering the standard in-app monetization methods (banners, video ads, etc.) it offers push notifications and can trigger sign-ups anytime in app sessions. Many review sites out there claim Airpush is Android only, but the company says it works on iOS and mobile web, as well. It focuses its business around using push notifications for advertising, which is something you should keep in mind, together with the introduction to this article.

approxee#8 Appoxee

Appoxee is an Israeli start-up, founded in 2010 and acquired by analytics firm Teradata in 2015. For its push notifications service, it offers rich-text, preview support, audience segmentation, as well as rules and triggers support. It also offers in-app messaging, allowing you to send rich html messages to your customers from within a particular app. Considering all that tap-on-the-shoulder-vs-mail thing, this is a solid feature. These messages can contain images, coupons, special offers or videos. Another interesting feature is called “Best time to send”, which analyzes each user’s app behavior and learns when’s the best time to send a notification or a message. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a pricelist on its website, so you’ll need to drop them a line if you want to learn more. Folio3 claims a free account provides support for unlimited apps and up to 250,000 users, while the lowest premium plan costs $500/month.  

#9 Catapush

Even though it’s somewhat smaller than its competition, and a bit “rough around the edges”, Catapush offers an interesting and rarely seen feature which has earned it its place in this list. Besides the classic push notifications, Catapush offers SMS failover – when the user’s lost data connectivity, or in more extreme cases, deleted the app – users can send the push notification through SMS instead. Although this feature screams “How invasive can you get?!”, it’s an interesting one and deserves to be mentioned. Its analytics are integrated through an API, and are mostly centered around note delivery. A demo version is available online, and a free beta can be requested. As for pricing, it’s free for up to 100 recipients, while all above that needs paying. Being an Italian-based company, pricing is in Euro: €29/month for up to 2,500 recipients, all the way to €249/month for up to 25,000 recipients. Everything above that is custom tailored.  

batch#10 Batch

Batch can thank Parse for making its way onto this list as soon as it did. Truth be told, it would have probably squeezed its way in at some point, but with Parse out of the way, it’s that much easier. Batch is a very young company, with a lot of promise. If was founded in January 2014 and is headquartered in Paris, France. What sets Batch apart from other similar platforms is the feature which allows the user to index non-specific notifications and monitor what the competition is doing. As Batch co-founder explained here, it allows you to search through public notifications for keywords, effectively allowing you to track your competition and gain valuable market insights. It offers four different pricing packs, as well as a free trial for each one. Batch can be a good choice for both low-budget start-ups and big companies, as its basic pack is free of charge.

Runner Up: Parse Pushparse

Parse Push was originally the number three on the list, but as the company announced it’s shutting down, we decided to move it to the bottom. Parse Push used to be everyone’s sweetheart – one of the most loved and most stood for platforms out there. Two things are important when talking about Parse: first – it’s not a push platform per se – it’s a mobile BaaS (backend as a service), meaning it provides much more than just push services. Second, it was acquired by Facebook in 2013 for $85 million. It covers web, mobile and IoT (Internet of Things), and comes with a free one-month trial. Besides, it’s free for a million unique recipients a month, and offers scheduling, segmentation and A/B testing for free, as well. For every additional 1000 recipients, you’ll have to pay $0.05.

I used a couple of parameters when creating the list, including online reviews, publically shared personal experience from various developers, number of apps that use the service, features, company size and pricing.

In my humble opinion, this list includes the best of the bunch, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the perfect pick for your mobile game or app. There are countless others, including Google Cloud Messaging, Jeapie, MixPanel, MobDB, Amazon SNS, Quick Blox, PushWizard, Kahuna, AppBoy, Iterable, Pushbots, AppBooster, Notifica, and the list goes on and on. 

Developers can also use GROW Insights to detect hidden whales and segment them for sending push notifications later on.

Feel free to share:
Research, Tech Resources

(1200x600) Top 10 Parse Alternatives

Contrary to popular belief among mobile game developers, the recent Parse announcement that it’s shutting its services down is not the end of the world.

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard me. A few days ago, Parse announced that it is retiring, sending out ripples of disbelief and discontent across the development world. No need to panic, though, keep reading.

First of all, Parse will have a year-long cooldown period – the final shutdown is scheduled for January 28, 2017, so you have plenty of time. Second of all, the company released a database migration tool (you can find it here), as well as an open-source Parse Server, which lets you run most of the Parse API from your own Node.js server.

Third of all, we’ve created a list of the best Parse alternatives for your mobile game you can find.

Why should you care?

Parse is a mobile backend as a service (MBaaS). That is a model that has grown to become an essential part of (almost) any game, even though it is a fairly new product category, one that’s been around for roughly five years. Its services might vary to some degree, from company to company, but the basics are the same – every MBaaS will offer a cloud storage solution, push notifications, file sharing and social integrations (Facebook, Twitter), as well as messaging and communications options. In today’s world of mobile and (quite often) social gaming, you can see why these features are essential to a mobile game’s success. It removes the burden of building in-app purchase item ownership data, building player progression storage or in-game communications, to name a few, and allows the developer to focus on more pressing matters like art, game design, innovation and monetization.

This is why we can’t have nice things

Parse was an important figure in the chain – it was loved by developers for having tons of features, good documentations and quality customer support. And after it got acquired by Facebook back in 2013 for $85 million, game developers were certain the company would have a bright future ahead – flocking to use its service.

Now, panic and fear has crept up on hearts and souls of mobile developers everywhere, as they raise their hands in despair and wonder why bad things always happen to good people </drama>.

But seriously, don’t worry. While the Parse announcement spawned a lot of lists with alternatives, those mostly revolve around general apps, with little to no focus on gaming. And with gaming being a specific industry in its own right, we feel a specific list is needed. We’ve got you covered. Below you will find the top 10 Parse alternatives for your game backend (listed in no particular order).

gamesparksGameSparks

GameSparks, which launched in 2013 and now has over 72 million players using their platform, is a good mobile backend as a service option, and one of the more popular ones. It is flexible and has a good set of features such as analytics, a management dashboard, leaderboards, and real-time and turn-based muliplayer. It runs a MAU (Monthly Active Users) cost which can be confusing, leading people to think it’s too expensive when, in fact, it offers quite a competitive price. GameSparks isn’t a prescriptive service. They provide a highly flexible, configurable and extensible platform that allows developers to build and manage their own projects.

playfabPlayFab

PlayFab launched in September 2014, though behind the veil the’ve been in business for 3 years as the in-house backend for Uber Entertainment. Some will say it is the most complete backend platform, especially after it partnered with Photon, the multiplayer cloud service. With 20M players on their system and a top game holding 1 million DAU (confirmed with their team), PlayFab is no stranger to scale. Features include player accounts, virtual goods management, in-game messaging, and game data storage. Another unique PlayFab aspect is their recently launched marketplace, which makes it easy to integrate with key 3rd party services beyond Photon, such as attribution-tracking, advanced analytics, community tools, and more.

heroiclabHeroic Labs

The key selling point of HeroicLabs is the API which allows game developers to easily integrate multiplayer and social elements without needing a server backend. It focuses and optimizes mostly for massive games, games of high volume. HeroicLabs also has a code sample with SOOMLA in our knowledge base.

gamedoniaGamedonia

Gamedonia is another complete backend solution for mobile games. The cloud platform for game developers does not require a server and offers many social games and real-time elements such as PvP (player versus player) modules, in-game chat or social sharing. Gamedonia was founded in 2012 and besides offering mobile support, also works in the browser.

kiiKii

Kii is another developer sweetheart and a Unity partner, making its community support quite strong. Its key selling point is a burst limit of 150 API calls per second, which is quite important. On the other hand, it does not allow anonymous users. Other features include server extensions, push notifications, leaderboards and achievements. It supports iOS, Android and Windows 8.

kinveyKinvey

Kinvey is one of the pioneers in the MBaaS game, which by default makes it a strong contestant for the best service out there. Compared to Parse, I’d say the two are quite similar in features: it offers cloud storage and push notifications. There’s also an easy way to integrate Facebook Open Graph for all those apps without websites. However, like Parse, it’s a general purpose MBaaS for all mobile apps, not just games.

braincloudLogo_80brainCloud

brainCloud might make your brain hurt of all the features it offers. It calls itself “backend in a box.” It is a ready-made, cloud-based backend designed for game developers, allowing them to jumpstart their game creation with various pre-built features. Its features include Cloud Data, including user and global statistics, shared data and custom files, Multiplayer, with support for turn-by-turn and one-way offline (clash-style) multiplayer. Other features include Achievements, Leaderboards and Monetization features.

floxGamua Flox

Flox is a scalable and lightweight cloud backend for mobile games built by Gamua. It runs on all mobile devices supported by Adobe AIR, and also allows offline play. Players can be authenticated through Google+, Facebook, email or the iOS GameCenter API. It comes with rich documentation and a powerful customer support.  If you’re developing with AIR, or specifically the Starling framework, this is the backend for you.

app42App42

App42 is another popular solution. It has many features, including all the usual ones like leaderboards, cloud storage or social sharing. It used to be cheaper than Parse (now it definitely is), while offering the same burst limit. A great solution for any mobile game developer.

pun_logo_bigPhoton

Photon is a cross-platform multiplayer game backend – a service tailored especially for game developers. It allows you to easily add multiplayer to your games and run them in the Global Photon Cloud. You can also host your own Photon servers, if that kind of hybrid is your thing. It is a good choice for game developers of all sizes, from indies to AAA studios.

Basic pricing plans

Company Free Tier? Minimum Price
GameSparks Yes $0.02/player (MAU – applies when a game has reached 10,000 users)
PlayFab Yes Free. (Support + Enterprise are paid)
HeroicLabs Yes $69 / Month / $0.02 (MAU)
Gamedonia Yes 89€ / Month
Kii Yes $1,200 / Month
Kinvey No $2,000 / Month
brainCloud Yes $30 / Month
Gamua Flox No $29 / Month
App42 Yes $99 / Month
Photon Yes $95 / Month
Feel free to share:
Research

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaIndonesiaBrazilChina, and Israel

(1200x600) Top 10 Korea

As we continue to move around the globe, looking at the best games made in specific countries, we make our way towards South Korea, probably the only country in the world where Starcraft is a national sport, and players are celebrities.

Yes, celebrities. While you were out there scrolling through Kim Kardashian’s Instagram profile, people were telling stories of Bengi, nicknamed ‘The Right Hand of God’ – arguably the best League of Legends player in the world.

Credit: Flickr / Powder

Bengi, the face of terror. This person is literally a Messi for League of Legends. Credit: Flickr / Powder

But I digress. This time we won’t tackle South Korea’s gaming obsession from that angle. Instead, we’ll focus on mobile gaming and as you might have imagined, it’s no different here – these people are still slightly obsessed and very, very active.

Let’s look at some figures before proceeding with the list:

South Korea is a country of 50.22 million people (last count was in 2013) and, according to OneSkyApp, it has a smartphone penetration of 73%– meaning just slightly over 40 million people have a smartphone in the country. Out of that number, two thirds (66%) play mobile games, so that makes approximately 26 million players.

Android dominates the market, which is no surprise knowing that the country is home turf to Samsung. Some Still, Apple is doing a great job at disrupting its biggest competitor, with some reports saying that it reached a market share of 33%. Others place that number at 14%, which is probably a bit more realistic figure – but still an impressive one.

Gamers over there spend a lot of money on their entertainment, as well. According to the statistics portal Statista, mobile games in South Korea are expected to generate $1.4 billion in 2016. Moreover, that number is expected to grow even further, by 6.67%. By 2020, it will be generating $1.9 billion annually.

Looking at the types of games they play, MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), or RPGs in general, are South Korea’s guilty pleasure. So much in fact, that when non-RPG games made it to the top ten list on Google Play for the country, VentureBeat wrote an article about it. Think about it – RPGs are so popular there that if they’re not completely overwhelming the Play Store – it’s news.

When it comes to games, Asian markets do things a bit differently than the West – they integrate their games with their favorite communications apps. We’ve seen it before with WeChat in China, and in South Korea, we can see it with KakaoTalk.

They’re creating a closed ecosystem, where users need only register in the chat app (in this particular case, the KakaoTalk app) in order to get access to exclusive and extremely popular games. If you ever come across a South Korean mobile game that has ‘for Kakao’ in its title – that’s it.

It obviously works: according to this report, even back in 2013, out of the global top 10 games, three were built exclusively for Kakao. So let’s take a look at the best games made in South Korea.

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

infinite#10 Infinite Stairs

Android | iOS

Developer: NFLY Studio

NFLY Studio is an indie mobile game development studio headquartered in Busan, South Korea. It has been active on the market since 2012, and has since released seven mobile games, for both Android and the iOS. Its latest game, Infinite Stairs, is also its most popular product.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Arcade
About the game: Infinite Stairs is an endless-runner style of game that goes up vertically, something like the oldie and goldie Icy Tower. In genre, it is an arcade pixel graphic mobile game that features dozens of characters and challenges the player’s reflexes and focus, while delivering tons of fun.
Interesting SDKs: 

 InMobi  Tapjoy 

wooparoo#9 Wooparoo Mountain

Android | iOS

Developer: NHN PixelCube

NHN PixelCube is a South Korean game developer and publisher. Besides building its own games, it also brings Western games to the SK market, as well as Chinese games. It has its own game platform for the Western market called Toast.com.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: Strategy
About the game: Wooparoo Mountain is a strategy game for mobile devices, similar to FarmVille or Clash of Clans. It features more than 80 different and cute characters that can be combined for a total of 20,000 combinations. The game is rich in gameplay and features advanced visuals.

dominations#8 DomiNations

Android | iOS

Developer: Nexon

Nexon is a mobile game development company founded in Seoul back in 1994. Back then it was a publisher and a PC development studio. In the meantime, it has expanded into the mobile platform and opened up studios in the US and Germany.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Strategy
About the game: DomiNations is an RTS game that combines Clash of Clans with Sid Meier’s Civilization. It is a game of strategy and dominance, in which players build their empires from the stone age all the way to the space age. Users can choose from a number of nations, including Korean, British, Romans, Chinese, Germans, French, Japanese, or Greeks.
Interesting SDKs: 

Chartboost  Tapjoy 
 prime[31]   AppsFlyer 
Tune 

warship#7 WARSHIP BATTLE:3D World War II

Android | iOS

Developer: JoyCity

JoyCity is a South Korean game developer that’s been on the market since 1994. First building PC games, it released a few popular titles such as FreeStyle Street Basketball (firs street basketball game in South Korea) and Rule the Sky. After expanding into mobile, it first released the mobile social game Rule The Sky, followed by the globally popular Warship Battle, also known as Gunship Battle in SK.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Action
About the game: Warship Battle: 3D World War II is an action-arcade game in which players take control of naval ships used during World War II and duke it out against other ships and aircraft. Besides the game being action-packed, it also features a shop where ships can be customized and improved.

darkness#6 Darkness Reborn

Android | iOS

Developer: Gamevil

Gamevil is a mobile games company headquartered in Seoul, with an office in Torrance, California. It is a fairly large company, that reported market capitalization of $400 million back in 2012. In 2013, it acquired Com2Us, another big player in South Korean mobile games industry, also dubbed its “oldest rival”. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Darkness Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, featuring both PvE (player versus environment) and PvP (player versus player) modes. It allows players to choose between five different classes, and offers high-end graphics rarely seen on mobile devices. It also offers large customization options, including 1,296 skill combinations.

anipang#5 Anipang

Android | iOS

Developer: SundayToz

SundayToz is a social mobile games developer based in South Korea. It was founded in 2009, and has since then built a number of social games for key mobile platforms such as KakaoTalk, Google Play, Apple’s AppStore or Naver. It is the studio behind the local hit-game Anipang and its sequel, Anipang 2.

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Anipang was the first South Korean game to be downloaded 20 million times. It is a puzzle game that is distributed through Cyworld Appstore and Naver Social Apps. It is a match-3 style of game, featuring cute characters like pink piggies, blue dogs and white rabbits. Its life has been speckled with controversy, as the local and mass media accused the developers of stealing other people’s ideas. Lawsuits were thrown around as well. Despite all of this, the game gained global fame.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Adobe Air  PlayHaven 
 Kakao  Upsight 

candypang#4 CandyPang

Android | iOS

Developer: WeMade Entertainment

WeMade Entertainment is a South Korean game development studio with an interesting story. The studio created a 3D MMORPG game called The Legend of Mir, an extremely popular game in the East. It was soon copied by Chinese operator Shanda and released under the name The World of Legend (awesome name, btw </sarcasm>), forcing the original developers into a lawsuit. To make things as clear as possible, they chose the name WeMade, pointing that they had, in fact, made The Legend of Mir game. The studio was founded in 2000 and has since expanded to Seattle, Washington. It even had a professional e-sports team until 2011, competing in Counter-Strike, StarCraft: Brood War and Warcraft III.

Release Date: 2012
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: CandyPang is a puzzle game, very similar to Anipang, and pretty much any other color-matching game. However, instead of switching a tile in order to match three or more, the player need only recognize the tiles which have already lined up and tap on them in order for them to disappear. The game is designed to be played very fast so that a high-score can be achieved.

raven#3 Raven

Android | iOS

Developer: Netmarble Games

Netmarble is one of Korea’s biggest game developers, if not the biggest. It has more than 3,000 employees, working in offices around the world, including the US, Turkey, Japan, China and Indonesia, as well as Taiwan and Thailand. It has a few globally popular titles, such as Raven (EvilBane), MARVEL Future Fight or Everybody’s Marble. It has recently invested $130 million in SGN, a US-based mobile games studio.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Raven is one of South Korea’s most popular games and is often referred to as ‘Korea’s biggest RPG’. Knowing how Koreans are mad about RPG games, this is a big deal. This is a classic RPG game, with multiple races and characters, capable of leveling up and collecting various armor and weapons. It features a couple of modes, including Scenario, Adventure, Raid and Arena. It has been launched globally, under the name EvilBane.

future fight#2 MARVEL Future Fight

Android | iOS

Developer: Netmarble Games
Release Date: 2015
Genre: RPG
About the game: MARVEL Future Fight is an RPG game many people call ‘dungeon crawler’ because of its gameplay. It features basically all Marvel heroes players can control as they battle for the survival of the human race. It features a few different mission types, including Villain Siege, Daily Missions and Story Missions. All these types can earn players new gears, new mastery points and a higher rank.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Tune  GrowMobile 
 Kakao 

summoners#1 Summoners War

Android | iOS

Developer: Com2Us

If there’s just one thing you ought to remember regarding Com2Us is that these guys have managed to trademark ‘Tower Defense’. That’s like trademarking the words ‘Role-playing game’. Obviously, people were not pleased, with some saying this is why TD games usually suck. Aside from that, Com2Us is a fairly large game development studio, whose majority stake was acquired by Gamevil in 2013.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Summoners War is South Korea’s most downloaded and most popular game, with more than 50 million downloads across multiple platforms. It has been praised by the media, with some saying it’s a must-buy, even though it’s a free-to-download game. This is a 3D RPG game with elements resembling very much what we can see in games like Pokemon, in which players duke it out in the Sky Arena. It features more than 900 different types of monsters that can be summoned, as well as a 3-player co-op mode in real-time. It has been localized in 14 different languages, and also offers in-game purchases.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Tune  Chartboost 
 PartyTrack AdPick 

That is our list for the best of the best from the South Korean mobile games market. While searching for the best games, we looked at the most popular and most talked-about game developers, the number of downloads and overall rating their games have across various platforms, as well as any awards they might have won on local or international competitions. Game reviews and opinions from journalists were also taken into consideration.

Feel free to share:
Research

(1200x600) Mobile Game Analytics Comparison

As of July 2015 there were 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million in the Apple App Store. Both stores continue to grow at exponential rates yet there’s a continuous trend that there are only a handful of apps that make the top charts. Looking specifically at mobile games the top charts are populated with games from King, Supercell and the likes. For a mobile game developer they not only have to create a killer game, but also continually work on improving it.

In today’s mobile game world, it’s not a question to have analytics in a game, but what company to use. Studios must constantly be improving and adapting games to keep users engaged. With mobile analytics and marketing platforms studios can slice and dice their data, gain powerful insights and communicate directly with users.

Regardless of the analytics platform you are using, tracing-back your ad revenue is a seperate domain. If your game uses ads – you can send ad revenue data from SOOMLA TRACEBACK to your analytics platform.

Learn More

Here’s a comprehensive list of the top mobile analytic platforms. We’ve excluded install tracking and attribution analytic platforms which are often categorized under analytic tools. We view them as analytic tools for very specific purposes of examining marketing channel effectivity and not necessarily measuring user behavior. These include Appsflyer, TUNE (Mobile App Tracking), Adjust, Apsalar, and Kochava.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

“You can’t go wrong”new-google-logo-2015

Gain valuable insights with Google Analytics for Mobile Apps. You’ll see analytics for the full cycle of your app. When you install GA you’ll automatically get analytics covering number of users/sessions, session duration, operating system, device models, and geography. Developers can also delve deeper into their analytics and look at specific user behavior and interact with the app.  

  • Founded: Built by Urchin which was acquired by Google in 2005
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity (still in beta)
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. If you go above the minimum, the price goes to approximately $150,000/year.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 4.57.08 PM

Flurry

“Elder of the analytics tribe”Flurry_Logo_DarkGrey_NoBackground_LoRes

A mobile analytics solution that was acquired by Yahoo! in July 2014. Flurry provides analytics for businesses to monitor user behavior across multiple mobile applications. Flurry has one of the largest networks with more than 700,000 apps on over 1.8 billion devices. In five minutes you can see basic analytics from Flurry, but for more detailed analytics you must set up custom events. One major flaw is that it does not currently support Unity – for that you’ll need to purchase a dedicated plugin from the Unity Asset Store.

  • Founded: 2005
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, HTML5, JavaME, hybrid apps, mobile/web
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Flurry Dashboard

GameAnalytics

“Geared for gamers”GameAnalytics-Logo

A free analytics platform tailored for mobile games, providing insightful and actionable data. GameAnalytics supports the full life cycle of a game from acquisition to retention to monetization of a player. It’s platform is solely focused on mobile game specific KPIs. Some features in GameAnalytics’ dashboard include custom dashboards, benchmark analytics, and custom events.

  • Founded: December 2011
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity, REST API, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios

GameAnalytics

SOOMLA

[EDIT: Soomla GROW was shut down as of May, 2016. For the shutdown announcement – http://blog.soom.la/2016/05/grow-is-being-shut-down.html]

“God-Mode – see analytics of your users in similar games”image001

GROW, a zero integration analytics platform, brings user behavior and revenue analytics with one-step integration from all the tools you use – mobile SDKs, in-app purchase plugins, and ad networks. A unique feature in the dashboard is God Mode Analytics which shows you the analytics of games similar to yours. You can leverage cross-game intelligence to build a better game.

  • Founded: August 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, Cocos2d-x
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios

SOOMLA dashboard

Unity Analytics

“No need to leave the Unity Editor”$logo-titled

Unity Analytics is part of the larger Unity family which provides a variety of game development tools. Unity offers a standard dashboard with basic KPIs, heatmaps, and market data. Unity Analytics is extremely accessible and can easily be installed in Unity games therefore boosting its popularity amongst mobile game developers.

  • Started: 2015
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Store 8.1, Windows, Mac, Linux/Steam OS, Web, and WebGL
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, big studios

Unity dashboard

deltaDNAdeltadna_www@1x

“Comprehensive, enterprise grade analytics”

deltaDNA provides detailed game analytics and real-time marketing for mobile games. deltaDNA provides a vast amount of analytic tools and various metrics for larger studios to analyze their data. You can track how players interact with your game and adapt your game accordingly. deltaDNA also offers custom dashboards, so you can personalize the analytics you review. With deltaDNA you can understand your game balance and how it affects different player groups.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, GameMaker, Rest API
  • Pricing: Free up to 10k MAU. From $150/month per extra 10K MAU. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Big studios and AAA studios

deltaDNA

App Annie

“A bird’s eye view of the mobile app stores”App-Annie-Logo

App Annie, a leading intelligence platform has over 700,000 mobile apps. Gain key metrics such as downloads and revenue for all your apps. You can break down your data by store, app, country, in-app purchases, and date range. You can track your app’s rankings hour by hour and closely monitor how it’s doing. While App Annie provides some very valuable macro-market analytics, it does not show specific in-game analytics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Store Platforms Supported: Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Windows Phone Store
  • Pricing: Free for developers who connect their app store dashboards. For larger companies interested in competitive business intelligence prices start at $59 per app/month up to $599/month for app download and revenue or demographic estimate. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Indies, big studios, AAA studios (App Annie Intelligence)
App Annie dashboard

Image: https://support.appannie.com/hc/en-us/articles/204763554-How-to-Connect-Your-Google-Analytics-Account

Crashlytics (part of Fabric)

“Not just crash reporting”crashlytics-logo

Acquired by Twitter in January 2013, Crashlytics provides crash reporting for iOS and Android. Crashlytics is built into Fabric which gives you detailed analytics about your game. It allows you to keep track of your user behavior and track any crashes.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, tvOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios
Crashlytics

Image: https://www.crashlytics.com/blog/introducing-crashlytics-for-tvos

Branch Metrics

“Deep linking analytics”Branch_Metrics_low_res_logo

Branch helps mobile apps delve into their analytics with deep links. Branch provides open source, drop-in SDKs that help generate deep links that pass data from app installs. Their analytics dashboard tracks conversions, user behavior, virality, campaign performance, and LTVs.

  • Founded: 2014
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Web, Xamarin, Cordova/Ionic, Unity, Adobe AIR, Titanium, HTTP API
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big teams, big brands
branch metrics

Image: http://onlinemarketingandseo.com/branch-metrics-convert-grow-and-track-mobile-app-adoption/

Ninja Metrics

“Find your social whales”logo-2015-ninja-metrics

A social analytics platform that offers a cloud computing-based social platform. It enables developers to measure social influence and adjust their game’s social features accordingly. It shows developers the value of social contributions and detailed projections of future social actions from users. Other services offered by Ninja Metrics include basic analytics such as DAU, monetization, and KPI metrics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: JavaScript, Java, PHP, iOS, Android, Unreal
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios
Ninja Metrics

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/ninja-metrics-integration/

Swrve

“Get personal at scale”4eaba4afb2986248f01b16ff5a54705b

A marketing automation platform that believes part of making a great app is nurturing the relationship with the users. With more engaged users, come more installs. Swrve offers in app campaigns, A/B testing, push notifications, and segmentation. Swrve also offers a traditional analytics dashboard which shows key metrics, accurate revenue, cohort analysis, and funnels.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, and Unity
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big studios, mobile marketers
Swrve dashboard

Image: https://www.swrve.com/product

Upsight

“Enterprise grade analytics for top charts mobile apps”url

Formerly Kontagent+PlayHaven, Upsight is one of the largest mobile analytics and marketing platforms. Their goal is to help transform the world’s data into valuable actions. Upsight offers a variety of customized solutions for more tailored analytics. Upsight offers custom dashboards and business KPIs as well as a variety of marketing tools such as in- and out-of-app engagement, A/B testing, and user segmentation.

  • Founded: 2007
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity, tvOS
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Upsight dashboard

Image: http://www.upsight.com/analytics/

Mixpanel

“All-around, flexible analytics for any purpose”mixpanel_500X1891

Mixpanel, based in San Francisco, is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and web. It helps companies understand their user behavior and explore conversion rates and user retention. Their dashboard includes funnel analysis, retention, mobile A/B testing, and marketing automation.

  • Founded: 2009
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Java, Javascript, Rest API, all popular server side languages
  • Pricing: Free up to 25,000 data points. Or up to 20m data points for $2,000/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers

Mixpanel dashboard

Amplitude

“The new kid on the Mixpanel block”Amplitude-logo

San Francisco based, Amplitude is an analytics platform that helps fuel app growth. Amplitude shows you microscopic views into any data point. You can zoom in and explore behavioral data and even create specific cohorts. Amplitude also gives you direct access to your raw SQL data. This allows developers to answer their most complex questions and delve into their data.

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, Unity
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. $995 for 0-100M monthly events. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Ampltude dashboard

Image: https://amplitude.com/blog/2015/01/09/team-sharing-custom-dashboards-amplitude/

Apple App Analytics

“Back to Basics”Apple_Logo_Png_02

Apple introduced their analytics platform in mid 2015. It shows Apple developers their sales, usage, and monetization and does not require any code. Apple recently released that their analytics platform supports tvOS apps. It shows app store views, how users interact with your app on Apple TV, and IAP statistics.

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: tvOS and iOS
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers
Apple dashboard

Image: http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/06/apple-app-analytics-screenshots/itunes-app-analytics-05/

Facebook Analytics for Apps

“Analytics that work well with Facebook campaigns”facebook-logoimage-facebook-logopng-moshi-monsters-wiki-dmua0wep1

Facebook Analytics provides developers with insights about their app’s customer base, engagement, user behavior, and campaign performance. Developers can track users across multiple devices and see if a user in an app went and made a purchase on the website. Facebook Analytics also offers the basic dashboard features such as events, segmentation, cohorts, and funnels.  

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, PHP, Unity
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, AAA studios, mobile marketers

FB dashboard

Countly

“Open source for the rest of us”countly_logo_color

Countly is a real-time mobile analytics platform that provides data on application usage and user behavior. It has over 3000 apps and more than 2000 running servers worldwide. Countly is an open source framework for developers that want to build their own analytics solution, however they also offer Countly Enterprise Edition for larger companies.

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Javascript, Mac OS X, Unity 3D, Flash
  • Pricing: From free to $800/month for 10M sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies
countly-dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Localytics

“Mobile marketing mission controlLocalytics_official_logo

Based in Boston, Localytics is one of the leading analytics platforms and has more than 37,000 apps on more than 2.7 billion devices. It is an analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps. You can use their insights to personalize your engagement with users through push, in-app, email or remarketing campaigns which allows for more direct and smarter targeting. Some benefits of the Localytics’ dashboard are LTV measuring, custom dashboards, A/B testing, and real-time analytics.  

  • Founded: 2008
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and HTML 5
  • Pricing: from free to tracking 100k MAU for $1,200/month (for analytics and marketing). Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Localytics dashboard

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/localytics-integration/

Appsee

“Analytics, Visualized”logo_height_100

Appsee, a Tel Aviv based company, is a SaaS platform to help optimize mobile apps. Appsee’s analytics help show the reasons behind the data and focuses on the user behavior. Focused on user experience, Appsee provides user recordings so you can watch user sessions and see the direct interaction. Appsee also offers real-time analytics, heat maps, and crash videos (to see where and how the app is crashing).

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS and Android
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Regular pricing is not disclosed, but have special rates for startups. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, big studios
Appsee Dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Segment

“One Analytics API to rule them all”segment-logo-black_(1)

San Francisco based, Segment allows developers to collect data from wherever it’s generated with one API. It tracks customer data across multiple devices and then sends it to third party integrations. Segment has over 160 integrations and collects 50 billion API calls a month.  

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Android Wear, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Up to 25M API calls for $449/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, big studios, big brands
segment-warehouses

Image: https://segment.com/

Heap

“Modern analytics for web and iOS.”heap

Heap captures every user action in your app and lets you measure it from swipes and taps to form submissions and page views. With Heap’s dashboard you can see all key metrics, funnels of where and when users are dropping off, and retention rates. 

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms: Web and iOS
  • Pricing: Free (up to 5,000 sessions/month) up to $599 for 150,000 sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Heap dashboard

Image: http://blog.heapanalytics.com/a-heap-of-new-features/

You now know the top analytics platforms and you just have to decide which one is right for you. You might even end up picking a few which will only enrich your analytics and data. Depending if you’re only working on apps or games will also be a huge factor in which platform you choose. If you’re a game developer, SOOMLA’s dashboard offers a variety of features from God Mode Analytics to segmenting hidden whales. Check it out here!

Feel free to share:

Join 7485 other smart people who get email updates for free!

We don't spam!

Unsubscribe any time

Categories

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