From Distribution to Actionable Insight

How to Make the Most of Third-party Marketplaces

SVoD businesses rely on app stores for distribution. But, with each app store operating in a silo, it’s difficult to know what’s working and what isn’t. Read on to find out how streaming services can level the playing field, getting a complete picture of app store performance, and turning that data into actionable intelligence for the benefit of their business overall.

App store spend is higher than it’s ever been. Global app revenue topped $50 billion in the first half of 2020. That’s a 23% increase year-on-year, with several video services featuring in the list of top-grossing apps worldwide. Take into account an estimated 71.5 billion app installs during this period too, and it’s easy to see why SVoD services are becoming increasingly reliant on third-party marketplaces for distribution.

The big marketplaces (Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Channels) offer reach to almost every connected device out there. But, as they’re the gatekeepers, they require SVoD businesses to give up two things: the billing relationship and access to granular user data.

Then there’s another problem: reporting. Each marketplace reports on video distribution performance in different ways. The lack of uniformity between the data that different app stores provide creates a headache for SVoD businesses, making it impossible to see relative third-party performance. And if you can’t see relative performance, how do you know what’s working best for you and what isn’t?

Success means playing the app store game on your own terms

There’s no question that you need a uniform view. It’s essential to know what’s happening across third-party app stores to make sure the benefits of adopting a revenue share model with the likes of Apple and Google, or the promotions you’re running across their ecosystems, are worth it for your business. But how?

Fortunately, this is an area where advanced data analytics and machine learning can help. Audience insight platforms such as Wicket Scorecard can bridge the gaps created by app store reporting and create a unified view of their overall performance. It’s a solution to the challenges any SVoD business with third-party distribution at the heart of their monetization strategy will face.

To understand how Wicket Scorecard can help make the most of your app store partnerships, let’s take each of these challenges in turn and identify how an audience insights platform levels the playing field.

The need for clarity: Getting a uniform view

  • Problem: Not being able to see a uniform view of app store performance.
  • Solution: Automated data collection and harmonization.

Think about how you currently take the pulse of app store distribution. There are multiple systems to log into, and different reports to download. You’ve then somehow got to merge those data sets together to create a view of overall performance and run a manual analysis of trial users vs paying subscribers. This makes drawing comparisons between different app stores challenging.

chart of distribution metrics broken down by store

Fig. 1 – Store Breakdown reports installs, ratings, trials, activations, revenue, engagement, in addition to other data not shown in this image.

Trying to get a handle on payment data is even harder. When will you get paid? And how much will it be for that billing period?

Wicket Scorecard alleviates this issue. By harmonizing different data sets and identifying unique installations, activations, and subscriptions, together with billing records and payment terms for each marketplace, the platform makes it easier to account for app store performance and revenue contribution. In doing so, Wicket Scorecard transforms payment modeling – it lifts the curtain on when you will get paid next and how much it will be.

Together, this grants a better handle on cash flow and a clearer understanding of whether a recent promotional campaign or platform-specific subscriber offer is having the desired impact on the bottom line.

The need for actionable intelligence: Tracking key metrics

  • Problem: Finding it difficult to track and compare app store performance.
  • Solution: A data dashboard enabling you to track app promotion effectiveness.

How do third-party subscriptions change over time? What’s the conversion rate? How many people are seeing your service and engaging with it? And which store is giving you the best return on investment?

Chart of impressions by store

Fig. 2 – Impressions by Store provides a quick view into promotion performance by store.

Being able to answer these questions is important to take the pulse of your app store partnerships. As effective promotion is a key part of the third-party app store value proposition, Wicket Scorecard makes it easier to monitor and track this. By giving you a full breakdown of key app metrics per store – including impressions, current users, average rating, and more – you can better understand how effective each marketplace is at promoting your service, identifying what the top of the funnel looks like and how many consumers are discovering your app.

This is key to answering the burning question every SVoD service has about their third-party partnerships: what’s working and what isn’t?

For example, if your app is getting 50,000 impressions on the Apple App Store but just 5,000 activations, compared to 80,000 impressions on Google Play and 20,000 activations, that’s highly relevant and actionable data that will have a big bearing on your marketing strategy going forward.

The true value of an audience insights platform

Ultimately, introducing a uniform view to your third-party distribution efforts via a data dashboard enables you to turn disparate, drip-fed information from app store deployments into actionable intelligence. This generates powerful insight that can inform future optimization and promotional campaigns for greater return.

That’s a bottom-line benefit, but there’s an operational one, too: saved time. With Wicket Scorecard, there’s no more logging into multiple systems to cobble together performance reports. No more guesswork about payments received or scheduled future payments. Just data-driven insight to inform future decisions about the third-party partnerships used to build your business.

Book a demo and see how Wicket Scorecard can bring clarity to your video distribution.

Employing an Audience Insights Platform

Download our whitepaper to see how the Wicket Scorecard provides unique insights you cannot otherwise see with siloed data.
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