Great mobile apps do get found, do get downloaded and paid for, and do get regular use.
But considering the proliferation of app stores, and the subsequent availability of an estimated 1.5 million apps (and growing daily), it’s actually kind of amazing publishers apps are found at all. Makes me wonder what’s harder: being the consumer trying to find a fun or productive app or the being publisher hoping to be found?
With “savvy” internet marketers leveraging the availability of data and the science behind web marketing continuing to grow in effectiveness, publishers and developers have a glimmer of hope to be found. But there’s a disconnect happening. Even with more data and better tools, mobile developers still have to scour what’s considered a data deprived Bermuda Triangle like experience—the App Store.
As is often the case, it takes living the problem first hand that becomes the genesis of a solution. Tapstream co-founders Slaven Radic, the CEO, and Ben Fox, the COO, struggled to get the word out about their apps (Tapfolio andTrending)—even though each of them had over 100 five-star reviews.
As great as the App Store is for distribution, it is largely useless in terms of delivering accessible and actionable information that will help a publisher grow their business. “We couldn’t see how our app users were finding us,” recalls Radic. “If we saw a spike in sales one day we could never be sure why it happened.”
Here are two developers drowning in a pool of ideal users who love their apps—only they couldn’t say with the slightest clue where they had come from. As seasoned internet marketers, Radic and Fox wanted to advertise, but those marketing dollars have to translate into actual results.
“We couldn’t just throw money out there hoping for web visitors. We needed to know that it was getting us real app users,” Radic explains. It’s out of this primordial app store pool that Tapstream emerges.
The idea behind Tapstream is simple: helping developers get more app users, by providing data on where those users come from.
The first prototype was live on December 2011 strictly serving Tapfolio’s audience. It was quickly delivering valuable insights into who their users were during the Christmas rush. A few months later, Radic and Ben realized they had built something special—a service allowing mobile app businesses to measure which marketing channels were driving desired results and revenue.
Up until recently, it remained an unsolved, and enormous problem, in such a fast moving industry where focusing on vanity metrics like followers, clicks and “likes” will see you to your end in no time flat.
Since launching in May this year, Tapstream has outgrown its humble iOS dev studio and needed a bigger home. It was spun out into a new company with a mission to make this new analytics platform accessible to all, from indie to enterprise, opening up a new arena of online marketing measurement to the mobile app landscape. Today they have over 1,000 mobile publishers signed up for Tapstream.