App Annie is an industry leader in app store analytics and market intelligence supporting iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Google Play. As Director of Business Development, Junde Yu manages business development and sales in Asia for App Annie.
What made you interested in entering the mobile apps industry?
I first became acquainted with mobile in 2008 when my company was contracted to build an online app store (www.mobilehotdog.com) for older-generation phones. I started playing with apps, and when the iPhone and its army of apps arrived, I saw it was time to fully enter the industry.
What past career experiences have helped you in your current position?
I was always involved in startups, which has helped me in my current role at App Annie. My first job in mobile was in business development for Scoreloop (a social gamecenter-like SDK). While at Scoreloop, I traveled widely in China, meeting and pitching the SDK to developers in all major Chinese cities. That experience quickly brought my knowledge and connections up to speed. Subsequently as an independent mobile consultant, I worked with several companies over the span of a year that educated me on the various other segments of the mobile industry. I even released my own game on the Android Market. Finally, my gig at Tapjoy got me deeply involved in the mobile advertising industry.
Can you tell us more about App Annie? What impact do you feel it has had on the mobile apps industry?
App Annie is the leading provider of app store analytics and market intelligence. We help publishers analyze the performance of their apps in every country and category of the app stores. This understanding powers their strategic, marketing, and content decisions to achieve the best ROI.
We’ve had a tremendous impact without spending much marketing budget to date. This is because there was a market need, and no other product available that matched the quality of our data and rich analytic capabilities. Today we have more than 50,000 users for our market analytics products, including 80 percent of the top 100 worldwide grossing publishers. Some of these companies have more than 100 staff using our products, so we’re pretty sure it has helped them make money
Why is it important for a business to gather intelligence regarding the market?
Market intelligence has always been provided by players in other industries – you have companies like Nielsen, comScore, GfK, etc.
Market intelligence helps answer questions such as: Which product should I invest in building? Which countries should I put my marketing budget in? What are my competitors doing? And so on.
An agency guy once told us that people buy market data because they simply cannot make a decision on gut.
What new trends have you seen emerging in the mobile apps market?
While iOS is still the dominant platform for app publishers in terms of revenue, we’re seeing the growth of Google Play downloads and revenue exceeding that of iOS in some sizeable markets such as Brazil, Russia and Japan. We recently published a detailed infographic on iOS vs. Google Play called Game of Phones: http://www.appannie.com/game-of-phones/#.T-iavPXhe7I
Which market has the highest potential? Why do you think that is?
The Japanese market, because the top apps there can make almost as much money as the top apps in the US. This result is mainly driven by the existence of many high spending (high ARPU) consumers, especially in some specific game categories. Today, the Japanese iOS market is still one dominated by mainly Japanese publishers, so it would be interesting to see the big Western publishers as well as indies enter the market with the help of the huge platforms like GREE and DeNA. When that happens, it will be exciting to see how high mobile app revenues in Japan can soar.
In which market are there growing opportunities for publishers?
Developing economies in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe represent a huge opportunity for publishers. Not many companies are localizing apps for these countries yet. But those who are have seen very positive and undisturbed revenue generation.
What predictions do you have for the current industry?
I see more companies targeting the developing economies globally instead of the biggest Western markets, and eventually getting acquired by some of the biggest publishers.
What new ideas can we look forward to from App Annie?
You can expect to see more free features for publishers to analyze their sales and marketing data across all the existing platforms we currently support as well as some new ones. In addition, be on the lookout for a lot of new infographics with original market insights drawn from the highest quality app store data in the industry.