App Annie Integrates With Google Analytics, Launches Free In-App Analytics For Developers

App Annie, whose mobile app intelligence platform is now used by over 700,000 applications and 94 percent of the top 100 publishers, is today expanding its feature set with the debut of in-app analytics. The service, launching now into an open beta, integrates with Google Analytics, allowing app developers a way to view usage metrics across five app stores alongside data from 34 advertising platforms in an online dashboard.

Supported app stores include Apple’s iTunes, Google Play, the Amazon Appstore, the Windows Store, and the Windows Phone Store. Meanwhile, App Annie is able to pull in ad data from services like Tapjoy, Inmobi, Applovin, Facebook, AdMob, AppLift and many more.

The reason why usage data is so critical to today’s app developers is because it helps them gain insight into how engaging their app is with users, and how likely it is that users will return.

This is of increasing importance in today’s app marketplace, where so many “hit” apps turn out to be temporary chart busters – not all that dissimilar from the “one-hit wonders” that grace the music scene from time to time. Consumers will often play with a new title for a period of time, sending it skyrocketing, but then grow bored with it and abandon it.

Most developers aren’t interested in a quick boom-then-bust cycle, but rather want to create an experience that keeps users returning steadily and repeatedly over time. And for game-makers, they too want to make sure that as they release new levels and upgrades, they’re hitting the right notes with their core user base, as well.

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With in-app analytics, explains App Annie, developers will be able to gain insights like whether or not their app’s retention is on par with their prior apps, if their messaging strategy is working to increase daily sessions or session length, if Android users are more or less engaged than iOS users, if the app sees good engagement in critical international markets like Japan, Korea or China, and other key metrics.

What’s more, because App Annie is already tracking app store and advertising performance, it’s able to tie all these metrics together in a single dashboard. This allows developers to see things like how much additional revenue they’ve gained as they increase their app usage, for example. With the inclusion of usage data, App Annie’s dashboard now shows total sessions, total time, average sessions per user (per day, week or month), average session duration, and active user data (DAU, WAU, or MAU).

App Annie’s move into in-app analytics data follows the company’s acquisition of Mobidia earlier this year. At the time, the company explained that it had understood the value of usage data for app developers and that by bringing Mobidia into the fold, it could quickly expand its dataset – especially in terms of its international reach. The combination of the two datasets allowed App Annie to provide current and historical data across millions of users in 60 countries on both iOS and Android.

The acquisition was announced alongside the launch of App Annie’s Usage Intelligence product, which had been in beta testing since the beginning of the year. By acquiring its closest competitors (including, previously, Distimo), and moving to expand its product lineup, App Annie’s goal is to make it more difficult for rivals to catch up with its momentum. Due to its feature set and focus on the needs of larger publishers, App Annie has gained big-name customers over the years, like Electronic Arts, Google, LinkedIn, Line, Microsoft, Nexon, Nestle, Samsung, Tencent, Bandai Namco, Universal Studios and Dow Jones, to name a few. Combined, its customer base accounts for nearly half of all app store revenue.

In-App Analytics is currently a free offering, says App Annie. To get started, developers don’t need to install an SDK – they just add Google Analytics as a new “connection” on their dashboard.