Product Announcements

Understand Paid vs. Organic Downloads with Improved Download Channel Report

Jasper van Nistelrooy, Director of Product Management

As a mobile app marketer, you want to reach your user acquisition (UA) goals and maximize return on spend — but may be grappling with how to stand out, reduce costs, and make every penny count.

More than ever, it’s time to uncover the right user acquisition channels for your app: those that will bring in the most revenue and capture growing, captive mobile markets. But with the variety of user acquisition sources and the lack of tools available to dissect this data, it can be difficult to understand exactly which ones are converting. Our improved Download Channel report makes it even easier to instantly identify which acquisition channels are contributing most to your app’s conversion behavior over time.

By understanding the split of paid and organic downloads for your own app (and competitor apps), you can:

  • Understand how your app grows, and make decisions accordingly
  • Analyze which app categories have strong organic growth rates, and focus on those for long-term success
  • Assess how your competitors are acquiring users, and adjust your UA budgets and strategies accordingly
  • In ad sales, better qualify leads by measuring a publisher’s paid downloads, an indicator of potential ad budget


What’s New? 

Download Channel’s enhanced metrics provide a view into your app’s download sources by indicating the percentage and number of app downloads coming from a granular set of paid and organic sources. These download analytics are more comprehensive than we’ve seen from any other mobile market analytics provider.

The report now includes:

  • Paid Ads
  • Paid Search
  • Organic Featured
  • Organic Search

The update also comes with better trend accuracy, daily and weekly granularity, and improved coverage of % paid across apps: 

  • Improved trend accuracy - We've implemented a brand new model that will show changes in % paid more accurately than the previous model. Users can expect stronger correlations between advertising share of voice (SOV) and % paid.
  • % Featured Downloads - Estimated number of downloads that come from being Featured in the app store
  • % Paid Search - Estimated number of downloads from paid search user acquisition (e.g. Apple Search or Google Play)
  • Daily granularity -  The new model now generates estimates of downloads on a daily frequency (in addition to weekly). 
  • Improved coverage - We've implemented advanced data science methodologies to boost the overall coverage of % paid across apps.


Where else in Intelligence can I see these changes?

Our unique, AI-powered model allows you to leverage these enhancements across powerful new report views. This machine learning model is trained with data collected from app publishers via App Annie Connect and App Annie Intelligence signals, including paid search share of voice, featured visibility score, and in-app advertising share of voice.

As a result, your app downloads can now be broken down into four different acquisition channels, and analyzed across your custom app groups, a unified app view, or on the singular app level. 

Let’s say that we have an app in the Meditation and Yoga space, and we’d like to see what our category competitors are doing to get more downloads.

With Download Channel, we can now compare downloads across an app group, like this custom Meditation and Yoga app group we created below.

We can choose from a few different views here in the “Compare by” dropdown: Total Paid Downloads vs. Total Organic Downloads, Paid Ads vs. Paid Search, Organic Featured vs. Organic Search, or All Downloads.

The visualization shows us that in April, our competitors BetterMe, Calm, and Headspace got most of their downloads from Paid Search versus from Paid Ads. This helps us decide to put some more time and acquisition dollars into our next paid search campaign, while decreasing our focus on paid ads.

Let's now say that we are a game publisher and we want to drill down into our primary competitor, Roblox. We want to see if they’re seeing certain download trends across different app stores, so we use Download Channel to compare downloads across a unified app view. 

Again, we can choose what to compare from our dropdown, and we decide to look at the larger buckets of Paid versus Organic Downloads. It looks like during April, Roblox saw more downloads come in from organic for both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. As a result, we decide to sharpen our game’s organic strategy this quarter, instead of focusing so much on paid sources.

Lastly, let’s say that we’re launching a new update for the iOS version of our game for the U.S. market, and we want to see specifically how Roblox’s iOS store downloads have been trending. We can now compare downloads across the singular app level (metrics for only one app store). We want the most detail possible, so we select “All Download Channels” from our dropdown, and filter to view only the United States to get a sense of that market.

In April, Roblox’s iOS app got most (53%) of its U.S. downloads from organic search, so an organic search strategy is one that we may want to mirror for our game’s launch.


Analyze and Take Action

With Download Channel, your app's download trends are no longer a mystery, and you can also get inspired by the decisions of other app market leaders. Take action on a winning download strategy starting today.

Haven’t upgraded your App Annie account yet? Get in touch with the App Annie Sales Team to get access.

July 12, 2021

Product Announcements

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