App Annie Intelligence helps Glu stay ahead of the competition


Entertainment, Games


San Francisco, CA

Most popular app:

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

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The backstory

Glu Mobile (Nasdaq: GLUU), the leading game developer responsible for smash hits such as Deer Hunter 2014 and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, continues to be a leading pioneer in the mobile space. Glu has become a global force in mobile games and now caters to an audience of more than 62.6 million monthly active users.1 With a market cap of approximately $550 million, Glu is one of the undisputed leaders in the mobile app economy.2

Rise of the app stores – challenges and opportunities

While Glu is now considered a powerhouse in mobile gaming industry, their rise to the top was not easy. Founded in 2001, Glu began producing mobile games before the proliferation of smartphones. Within a few years, feature phones gave rise to more advanced connected devices, and the launch of the app stores in 2008 revolutionized the gaming industry. Previously, mobile publishers had to make deals directly with telephone carriers in order to get their games in front of players. After 2008, smartphone distribution channels such as the Apple App Store and Google Play quickly rose to prominence on mobile, and Glu needed to adapt to this changing landscape. This surge in demand for game apps required publishers to identify which game categories were growing the fastest, what countries had the highest growth potential, and which business models performed best by region. The rapid growth of the games market also resulted in the proliferation of new entrants, and detailed competitor monitoring became essential.

Ahead of the curve

Glu recognized that mobile apps had changed gaming, creating a new multi-billion dollar industry. To execute their strategy in this new, rapidly changing market, Glu needed highly accurate data. That’s when Glu found a solution in App Annie Intelligence. “As the smartphone games market evolved rapidly, App Annie addressed an important need for our business,” says Martin Edelman, Vice President of Operations, Glu.

Glu employs App Annie’s market data products to conduct competitive analysis, assess market entry opportunities and monitor monetization trends. Using App Annie’s insight on the daily downloads and revenues of competing apps in every market, Glu was able to complement their great instincts on what types of games consumers wanted, with hard data on what consumers were actually buying. Where others rely on hunches or out-of-date surveys to better understand what mobile consumers want, Glu uses detailed, daily app market data to execute their marketing and product strategy.

The company-wide benefits of App Annie Intelligence

Glu continues to use App Annie data to inform their daily operations, and their success is a result of teams working cross-functionally. Business development, product management, operations, and marketing departments need to be able to share valuable insights with one another, and App Annie makes such collaboration easy through the use of Intelligence’s easy-to-use platform. As a result, analysis, insight and decisions happen faster.

“We need to be able to validate our investment decisions and Intelligence plays a key role in that.” —Martin Edelman

Team members also use Intelligence data to fuel regular internal reports that are used to pinpoint rising and falling trends, and to understand which gaming sub-categories are gaining traction by revenue and downloads. “We use Intelligence to see the bigger picture of what’s going on within the app ecosystem and then to narrow in on a smaller competitive landscape, and better understand it,” says Edelman.

More about Glu mobile

Glu’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood became the third highest grossing app in the US, and the most downloaded free app on iPhone quickly following its launch.3 Another one of its popular games, Racing Rivals, ranked as the top grossing racing game in more than 50 markets.4 Glu’s other hit franchises include Contract Killer, Diner Dash, Eternity Warriors, Frontline Commando and Tap Sports Baseball.

Glu has US offices in San Francisco, Long Beach, and outside Seattle, in addition to international offices in Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea and Russia. Read more at

1 Aggregate monthly active users as of February 2015. Sourced from Glu Mobile’s Q4-2014 earnings call slide presentation dated February 4, 2015.

2 Glu’s stock price closed at $5.16 on February 26, 2015. Shares outstanding of approximately 107 million per Glu Mobile’s Form 8-K for the quarter ended December 31, 2014 filed with the SEC on February 4, 2015.

3 Ranked #1 on App Annie Store Stats “Top Charts” for Free, and #3 for Grossing on July 20, 2014.

4 According to VentureBeat article “A golden opportunity? Cie Games takes Racing Rivals to Android” on May 29, 2014.

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