With leading web properties like Facebook and Twitter now seeing up to half of their traffic on mobile, it’s hard to get a sense of what is going on with their audiences by looking at Alexa, comScore, Quantcast, etc. The same is true of our portfolio companies and their competitors.Gone are the days when we could pull up several of these third party measurement services, put in a few URLs, do a little triangulation and see how our companies are doing against the competition.
Today its a hodgepodge of web audience measurement (done the way I described above) and app audience measurement. App audience measurement is tougher. Services like appannie will tell where an app ranks in the app store based on download activity. Services like appdata will tell you how many facebook logged in sessions a mobile app and web app get but it doesn’t break it down between web and mobile. And some popular mobile apps don’t support login with Facebook so they don’t even show up in appdata (our portfolio company Kik is an example of one).
As far as I know, there isn’t a consolidated audience measurement services across web and mobile that can tell you how an app is doing in the absolute and against its peers/competitors. There should be.
comScore is in a good position to provide such a service. I used to be an investor and board member of comScore so I know the company well. I still have a small position in comScore stock. The recently launched Mobile Metrix 2.o is the analogue to comScore’s market leading Media Metrix web measurement product. If they combined the data into a single audience measurement product, that would be what I am looking for.
There are some other potential providers of a service like this. Quantcast could team up with Flurry (a USV portfolio company) and provide self reported data on a combined basis for companies that run Quantcast and Flurry on their web and mobile apps. But that would not be a comprehensive data set.
It’s not easy to deliver a third party measurement service across web and mobile. If it were, it would have been done by now. But we neeed one, badly. I hope someone brings it to market soon.
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