Flurry Revamps Its Free Mobile App Analytics With Custom Tracking, Alerts

Even though San Francisco-based Flurry hardly makes any direct revenue from its mobile app analytics, the product has become so widely used that one out of every three iOS apps and one out of every four apps for Android downloaded from Google’s Android app store includes it.

Now the company is overhauling its analytics product by adding custom dashboards, alerts and funnel analysis. In plain English, that makes it easier for companies to follow the metrics that matter most to them, whether that’s user retention after three or seven days or the number of users who complete a transaction. If you look at the example custom dashboard, it shows “rolling retention” or how long an app keeps users after the day they download it.

Alerts can ping a mobile app maker if their usage spikes or suddenly declines, for example. Mobile app publishers can get these alerts by e-mail once a day. If they have several alerts set up, they’re all compiled into a single e-mail.

Then funnel analysis is super key for any sophisticated mobile app maker that wants to understand if users are doing exactly what they want them to in the app. Are they buying virtual currency? Are they getting to Level 20 in a game? Flurry offers two types of funnels: one for tracking “in-app” events and one for tracking “cross-app” events. The latter is key because many developers with more than one app cross-promote users from one title into another. This is important in the gaming category as players sometimes get bored of one title, so developers need to coax them into playing other titles to keep them as a customer.

Flurry competes with a host of other analytics providers like Apsalar, Localytics and Kontagent. But since Flurry was the earliest to market in 2008, it has the widest reach as it’s included in 170,000 apps. The company sees about 500 million unique smartphones or tablets per month, tracks 300 billion data transactions per month and sees 1.2 billion sessions per day. It’s in 18 of the 25 Top Grossing Apps in the iTunes store.

And the growth is just continuing. Flurry has added about 35,000 apps from 10,000 companies since December. The number of sessions it tracks per day has jumped by 50 percent over the last three months. To be fair though, the other analytics providers have their own specialties. Kontagent, for example, has a long history in social gaming metrics that it brings over to mobile and Apsalar has a veteran team that’s done behavioral targeting and analytics in previous companies. But Flurry’s free analytics product has put some downward pricing pressure on the rest of the market.

Even though analytics isn’t a core part of Flurry’s revenue stream, it has been a key part of the company’s business strategy. Analytics gives Flurry a relationship with thousands of developers that it can upsell to other advertising products like incentivized video clips, installs or targeted advertising.

“We get a lot of goodwill from the developer community,” said Peter Farago, Flurry’s vice president of marketing. “And the data set that we build up has other benefits in helping us create new products.”

Flurry has raised more than $25 million to date in three venture rounds led by Menlo Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and InterWest Partners.