It’s all about the data (and reporting) – an interview with Distimo

Dev Con

I’m here at BlackBerry DevCon Europe with with Remco van den Elzen from Distimo. BlackBerry® developers around the world know that name – it’s one of the best app store reporting services available. Remco, you were mentioning before that there are a lot of BlackBerry developers using Distimo now – every three in the top three hundred use your service. For those who don’t know, what do you offer developers?

We have a free analytics tool available to developers for BlackBerry App World™ and across all major app stores. We enable them to track applications across all those stores, but also in terms of advertising networks. So we allow them to track their own applications, to look at their rankings and see how they’re doing in each country and each store, and also look at what they’re making from each purchase and from advertising revenue.

You break it down into categories too, to see how they’re doing in each category?

Yes – so for example, they can look at the Business category or the top level of the Games category, so they can compare themselves against competitors. It makes it very relevant for them to see how they’re doing in each market.

Your service also supports Apple App Store, Google Android Market and other storefronts. For developers who build for multiple platforms, are they able to compare their data from across different storefronts if they’re selling or offering their app in those?

Yes. That’s also the added value – so they can have one chart, for example, stacking up revenue from Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Nokia. So, all the major stores we do support, and they can even integrate the ad revenue, so they can instantly see what kind of business models are working best for them.

Whether it’s a freemium or a one-time purchase or if ad-supported really is the best model – they can track it over all the different storefronts and see.

Yeah, and we see a lot of revenue coming from after users downloaded the applications. It used to be that the paid application was very popular, but right now a lot of revenue is being made from in-app purchase or advertising, so they can really see how the model is evolving for them. They can even benchmark it against the market, so they can see what proportion of revenue is generated by in-app services, what kind of ad revenue they’re making, and compare that against the market.

So when you’re looking at all the data – and you obviously have a ton of data here at your disposal – do you internally then look at that and do…is it monthly and quarterly reports?

Yes, and developers may also know our name because we publish a lot of reports about the aggregated data we collect. So we collect a lot of data from a lot of developers, and we aggregate that data and we provide reports for free on our website that give general insight into how the market is evolving. We also have paid reports that are available to other companies – mainly device manufacturers, operators and larger developers – the ones who are interested in a variety of metrics. For example, they’d like to know which apps are successful, or how large is Apple versus Google in a certain market.

The service today – it’s free to sign up for and connect to any of the stores?

Yeah, it’s very simple – just go to the website, sign up and allow us access to your reporting. We don’t need to insert any code into your application, you’ll be set up in a few minutes and you can get charting away.

What other services are you looking at now with all that data? Are there more things you’re looking at offering? I know you mentioned ads – that’s available today?

That’s available today. You can add four different ad networks right now, and we’re looking to add a few more.

What are the ad networks now?

iAd, Adfonic, AdMob, and InMobi.

When you’re looking at storefronts now, what trends do you see? We talk about advertising and in-app purchasing and freemium models, but what trends interest you? What do you like looking at when you’re looking at reports?

What’s very interesting in the east – for example, China – is that it’s gaining a lot of momentum in a lot of stores in terms of the development that’s being made. That’s a market that’s really exploding right now. What you mentioned about in-app purchases – that’s very relevant, and also looking at types of content that are popular in different storefronts. Games are typically very popular, but it differs by device and by storefront. Those trends are very interesting to look at.

Alright, so, this may be a loaded question – on BlackBerry smartphones or BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets, what’s your favorite app?

For the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, I think the games are very nice, beautiful games – the racing games, I really like, and of course I always like the Cut The Rope. But the racing games on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet are very nice to play with.

Alright, so thank you very much, and we really appreciate you coming out to BlackBerry DevCon Europe.

Thank you so much.

About Alex Kinsella

Promoter of apps. Connoisseur of tacos. By day, I'm a PR and Social Media Manager at BlackBerry.

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