You can build an app, and it can be fantastic, but if you’re not carefully tending to its progress you’re only doing half the job. That’s where Apptrace comes in, the new product from German startup adeven making its official debut today. Apptrace provides app analytics, and while that’s not exactly new territory (Flurry, Mopapp, App Annie, are a few examples of companies succeeding in that space), Apptrace is hoping its product will be both simpler and more in line with developer and publisher needs than what’s already out there.
Apptrace is also free, which is a nice way to hook in an audience, and adeven founder Christian Henschel said in an interview that it should remain free, even as the product grows with new feature additions coming down the pipeline. So what do developers get for a free account? Essentially, it’s a high level view of how specific apps are faring on the iOS App Store, and also insight into category performance.
Details Apptrace provides, like how a category (Utilities or Games, for example) is behaving over time, in terms of movement in the top rankings on the App Store, can help developers at all stages of the process. They could see, for example, that there’s a lot of volatility in a certain category, indicating users aren’t quite happy with the offerings that exist in that space. Or they could note, in the case of Games, that there’s very little movements in the top charts, something Henschel attributes to major publishers essentially buying the top spots with big marketing budgets.
App analytics even from a high, outside level is still a busy place to operate, but Henschel believes Apptrace will differ because in later stages it will aim to provide a more complete picture.
“In app analytics, there are 10, 20, 30 companies who are basically offering in-app analytics, but the problem with this whole thing is you want to have it in one place,” he said. “You don’t want to have to switch apps, change logins, etc. You want to see how something that’s happening in the iOS store affects something within your app; so you can connect the view from outside, from something inside.”
Down the road, when Apptrace introduces in-app analytics, it’ll also concentrate solely on monetizing elements of apps (i.e., in-app purchase conversion rates, promotion performance, etc.). Apptrace is as much about pre-selecting and narrowing the scope of the information it provides as it is about leveraging data to help developers make decisions.
Since Apptrace believes that the information it provides will help developers garner additional revenues, and Henschel says that eventually he’s confident adeven will benefit from and participate in those revenues, and the analytics platform will remain free. It’s a lot to promise for a free product, but for adeven, the ultimate goal is freeing up developer resources to feed back into the app economy, so it could be a risk worth taking if it bears fruit in terms of app monetization strategies.