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Incentivized Installs Not All Bad, Says New Study…But Consider The Source

w3i-phone

Mobile users acquired through “incentivized” installs can be valuable, according to a new study, if managed properly. The term refers to users who download a mobile application in exchange for something else – usually in-game virtual currency or goods. Traditionally, these sorts of users are thought of as somewhat disposable, simply serving as a way to boost an app’s rankings in iTunes…at least until Apple cracked down on the now-banned practice.

But a new study of mobile app traffic shows that, in certain cases, incentivized traffic can outperform organic traffic. Unfortunately, given the report’s source, it still leaves us with quite a bit of doubt.

The study was performed by W3i, an application distribution and monetization network. And what does W3i engage in? Yes, incentivized installs. Well, sort of. Given Apple’s ban, W3i now focuses on promoting free-to-play applications through its mobile ad platform. It’s a kinder, gentler way to encourage installs that’s quite different from how its original incentivized installs program worked.

That said, to claim that W3i doesn’t have the world to gain by promoting the benefits of incentivized installs would be naive.

But let’s look at the data.

Between December 2010 and April 2011, W3i looked at the 30-day retention rates per traffic source for one of its burst campaigns for a popular game. It also calculated the volume per traffic source (see below chart, each color designates a different app).

The top paid volume source (77,541 installs) produced the second best 30-day retention rate (6.22%). But the second-top volume source (64,497 installs) performed the worst (2.16%).

Why the difference?

Both were incentivized traffic sources, but both had dramatically different retention rates. Clearly, not every traffic source is the same. In this case, the traffic sources were individual applications where the game was being promoted. One app led to higher retention rates after a month than the other.

Revenue, too, saw similar trends. (The letters refer to apps, whose names can’t be listed).

In addition, there were even cases where the organic traffic performed worse than the incentivized traffic, in terms of ARPU (average revenue per user).

Unfortunately, while this (far too narrow) slice of data does seem to show that incentivized installs aren’t necessarily the monster that Apple makes them out to be in all cases, the source of this data is suspect. It would be interesting to see a broader study from a less-biased company.

In the meantime, the big takeaway from these findings is that incentivized installs, can, in fact, deliver valuable new users for some when implemented correctly. But how regularly does that happen? In what apps? What’s the general trend here? Were these findings a fluke or par for the course? These are all questions W3i fails to answer with this study, instead showcasing trends for a single game. Not good enough to prove Apple wrong, we’d say.


Company:
W3I
Launch Date:
5/2000

W3i increases revenue, distribution, and engagement for consumer desktop applications, browser add-ons and mobile applications. On the desktop app side, app publishers get paid for recommending relevant applications…

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Incentivized Installs Not All Bad, Says New Study…But Consider The Source

AT&T’s Response To Sprint’s Lawsuit: Bring It On

attmo

And the fun just goes on, and on, and on.

Following this morning’s news that Sprint is suing AT&T/T-Mobile in an attempt to block their proposed merger, AT&T has just returned with a response. As you might expect, it pretty much boils down to “Yeah, yeah, see you in court. Oh, and here are some reasons we’re awesome.”

The full text of the response:

This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along – Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers. We of course will vigorously contest this matter in court as AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA will: help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions; allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population; and result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.

How else could they have responded, really? Tucked tail and given up? Of course not. AT&T’s not about to give up on this one — if only because doing so would mean they still have to cough up around $6 billion to T-Mobile thanks to a few fail-safes in the deal terms. AT&T’s already battling the Department of Justice and trying to maneuver their way through investigations lead by just about every other branch of the government — in the grand scheme of things, Sprint’s lawsuit is just a means of forcing AT&T to spread their legal team that much thinner.


Company:
SPRINT NEXTEL
Website:
Launch Date:
1999
IPO:

NYSE:S

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users.

Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing,…

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AT&T’s Response To Sprint’s Lawsuit: Bring It On

Unity Embraces The Heart Of The Gaming World, Launches A Tokyo Division

Tokyo

While gaming has spread its tentacles throughout the world and major game development houses can be found everywhere from Calgary to Cambridge, there’s one place that will pretty much always be considered the center of the gaming world: Tokyo. What better place, then, to focus your efforts on winning over the hearts and minds of local developers?

This morning, Unity Tech (the folks behind the rapid game development engine Unity) are announcing that they’re making the jump into Japan with a new subsidiary in Tokyo.

For those who may not have tinkered with it: Unity is a visual game development tool for quickly building complex games that can be compiled for Windows, Mac, and, with a bit of tweaking iOS, Android, and most of the current-gen consoles. It’s not drag-and-drop by any means, but it’s markedly more accessible than the vast majority of alternatives.

The new division’s primary goals with be product localization, sales, and support — in other words, it’s their job to convince the Japanese developer population that their cross-platform development engine is the way of the future.

The team leading the new effort is none too shabby, with execs like John Goodale (previously of Activision, Sega, and Crytek) and Shinobu Toyoda (previously the Executive Vice President for Sega of America) hopping on board. Not bad for a little company that launched out of Denmark just five or six years ago, right?

If nothing else, this ought to lead to a sudden spike in the number of Unity-powered Dating Sims, right? Ba dum tsss!


Company:
UNITY TECHNOLOGIES
Launch Date:
8/8/2004
Funding:
$17.5M

Unity provides 3D content development solutions, with the Unity platform, its proprietary solution. Unity provides a fully integrated development environment which makes it easier and more cost-effective for content…

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Unity Embraces The Heart Of The Gaming World, Launches A Tokyo Division

GameStop Affirms Popularity Of Mobile Gaming; Plans To Sell iPhone, iPod, And iPad

ipod-ipad-iphone

Still think mobile gaming isn’t a big deal? GameStop disagrees. Though they may not be as in-depth or graphically stimulating as console or PC-based games, but mobile games are accessible to everyone. My grandma can’t play L.A. Noire, but she’s beat every level of Angry Birds. So it only makes sense that GameStop has decided to put a couple new devices on its shelves: the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

GameStop has made a push into the tablet and mobile gaming space as of late. It started an iOS device trade-in program (for select stores) that is expected to roll-out nationally sometime during this year, reports 9to5mac. The company also said in April it had plans to get into the tablet space, whether that be with a device already on the market or by building a GameStop-branded gaming slate. Turns out, nabbing the iOS trifecta was the best plan.

With the carriers set on a duopoly, there’s no better time to start opening up other retail locations for Apple products. We vote with our wallets, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the iPhone or the iPad.

GameStop recently received some bad press over taking promotional materials out of games and then selling them as if nothing had happened. Understandably, people weren’t too happy about this. But the Internet has a short memory and it seems that GameStop needs to cover all the bases in its physical stores to remain competitive.


Company:
GAMESTOP
Launch Date:
12/11/2004

Gamestop is an American video game retailer with over 6,000 locations worldwide. The company spun off from Barnes & Noble in 2004 and operates as GameStop and EB Games.

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Company:
APPLE
Launch Date:
1/4/1976
IPO:

1980, NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer,…

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GameStop Affirms Popularity Of Mobile Gaming; Plans To Sell iPhone, iPod, And iPad

Baidu And Dell Team Up To Take On Tablets, Phones In China

dellstreak5front

Hot on the heels of Baidu’s new mobile OS launch, reports are circulating that the Chinese search giant is partnering with Dell to build tablets and mobile phones.

China is a goldmine in terms of potential consumers. With over 900 million mobile subscribers, China is becoming one of the fastest growing tablet markets, as well. As the Google of the Eastern world, Baidu should have no problem marketing hardware under its brand name. And Dell’s business in China seems to have picked up as well, though the name carries far less weight with consumers than Baidu’s.

According to an analyst who spoke with Reuters, Dell may be “grasping at straws” in an attempt to breathe life into its tablet business. The Dell Streak 5 tablet has been discontinued in the States, but a Dell spokesperson said that the company “has a partnership with Baidu [and] the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space.” It’s not clear whether that means we should expect a Chinese version of the Dell Streak 5 or just another similar minitab.

Either way, Dell and Baidu will face some strong competition in China. Lenovo has seen great success in the Chinese market over the past few years, and Apple has an almost terrifyingly strong presence there. We’ve heard of girls giving up their virginity for an iPhone 4 and a Chinese teenager selling his kidney for an iPad 2.

With brand dedication like that it may be more difficult than expected to rip people away from their beloved Apple. And the companies won’t have much time to do so, either. Though neither company gave a solid timeline, a spokesperson said we may see the partnership’s first offering in as early as November.


Company:
BAIDU
Launch Date:
11/10/1999
IPO:

5/8/2005, NASDAQ:BIDU

Baidu is the largest Chinese language search engines. Baidu’s mission is to provide the best way for people to find information online, including Chinese language web pages, news, images…

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Company:
DELL
Launch Date:
1984
IPO:

Nasdaq:DELL

Dell develops, manufactures, and sells personal computers and other computer-related products including servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals and televisions.

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Baidu And Dell Team Up To Take On Tablets, Phones In China