MADV 001 - Mobile.Ad.ventures by @thomasbcn
First edition covers September 2020
Welcome to MADV #001
This is an unregular newsletter curating recent trends in mobile (app) marketing.
For more regular updates, follow me on twitter @thomascbn…
Formats may suck a bit for now, sorry about that, but hopefully the content compensates. I’ll try to publish more often : following episode should be shorter
Feedback very welcome: hit me hard!!
Share the buzz & tell your friends
🤓 Must reads!
UA is dead but creative is king: this month must-read contender is AppAgent’s ACE creatives framework
I intend to keep this newsletter (mostly) about app marketing, but this post about getting promoted is just too good not to read. Hard truths most try to deny and several among of the reasons I decided to go self-employed.
🤳 First party content
This newsletter features primarily other people’s content, on purpose. Once in a while, I do publish stuff myself:
ASA automation tool SearchAdsHQ posted some of my opinions on the channel, as well as several other interesting people’s (Nadir Garouche, Johannes Von Cramon, Andrea Raggi…)
I participated in the super cool first episode of Admiral’s Play2Grow where you may have seen me crash cars in Art of Rally. I dont think that was recorded though…
🔥 What’s hot, September 2020
More IDFA drama… After FB “sub-optimal” - I’m told this is how Googlers calls a pile of crap - official solution, rumors araised that Apple may have had so much pushback they could postpone. I voted for bullshit, and once again I was wrong, as after large gaming companies join the vendors’ whining club, Apple did realize their solution will harm its new focus on growing services (vs hardware). IDFA deprecation is postponed (for real), as reported by the always reliable Alex Heath. See you in January, most likely just as unprepared as we all were early September.
The Taboola-Outbrain merger is cancelled. If you’re looking into diversifying away from the duopoly while avoiding the programmatic jungle, Sandra Wu released more content about this untapped channel. Sandra’s the ultimate master of this, reach out to her for advice.
Bad news for all fitness apps out there: Apple is their new competitor with Fitness+ at $9.99/m
Place your bets! AppSumer published some interesting figures about how app’s UA media mix evolved in 2020. TLDR: FB still get 50+% of iOS budgets. UAC money comes mostly from its cheap & dirty inventory on Android, even hard-to-scale ASA remains bigger on iOS. TikTok far off behind Snap for now.
More fancy icons, less actionable data: Google is killing the legacy Play Console on November 2, and developers are pissed to see the organic/paid split disappear, while the promised exports are still missing. Many people are lost looking for ways to reconcile UAC & console data. In the midst of such chaos, Google had the balls to send an insulting “Thank you for switching to the new Google Play Console” email.
iOS adoption seemed to grow super fast early on, but stall after?! Latest figures from Mixpanel available here.
EPIC has acquired Kids adtech SuperAwesome. Happy to get feedback if you have experience on this network.
Apps killing it this month: Pinterest downloads are growing even faster than its share price (thanks to iOS14), while Discord is early on the “second wave” (thanks to Among us?)
☑️ The subscription corner
If you’re still running paid apps (?!), my friends at RevenueCat (which is growing like crazy and just raised $15m to accelerate) published a guide to switching to subscriptions
Subs app got excited with Apple “offer codes”. Still some concerns about the UX by seeing some ugly pre-app store screens…
Hypercasuals moving to the subscription space? with the help of MADV friends, I located a few of them (most notably from Homa), more examples very welcome
GBP’s updated slides on subscriptions (not apps specifics) was released
Not fully app related either, but @nbt is on a publishing spree about consumer subs. This one is a good place to start. Like Adjacent.vc says: a great indicator for consumer apps is 50+% payment retention in year 2 (pricepoint & vertical bias applies)
But then again it's not that simple: the 85/15 split in 2nd year is not as impactful as one would think, because of massive churn, as RevenueCat CEO reveals
Impressive milestone: Babbel has sold 10m subscriptions cumulatively. I wonder how many of those were off-stores…
I strongly believe you should take subscriptions benchmarks with high caution, but @parsa published some decent ones
💀 The IDFA corner
Great quote from MDM’s Eric: “The IDFA is the hydrocarbon of the ads industry. But it takes time to transition away toward a ‘green energy’ measurement”. Later completed in a post.
FB finally releases its “solution” for iOS14: 9 campaigns max, almost no targeting, no VO, no VTA, no creative report, mandatory SDK, all measurement through SkAdnetwork. The floor is the limit! Not sure where that leaves MMPs here, but blackboxing even further can’t be good for advertisers. I’m probably wrong again: $FB up 5% within hours after :facepalm:
Also FB: Facebook *may* kill the audience network after IDFA deprecation and focus solely on first-party inventory. Mixing first/third party inventory was never a good idea any. Btw I recently discovered its finally possible to target the AN without the feed now. Yay
Eric Seufert decrypts that infamous FB FAQ pdf that leaked for you (also here)
Some actionnable stuff from 2ndPotion’s Kevin Bravo in the Mobile UA show: how to deal with conversion values in SKA (check also his YouTube tutorial). The only solid content on the topic I’ve seen alongside Tenjin clients workshops.
A rare contrarian opinion on IDFA deprecation: let’s rip off the band-aid ASAP in the must-follow Deconstructor of Fun
IDFA: apps moving to the web? mmmm…
We may finally have passed the denial & anger stages, entering bargaining now: developers think they might move their budget to Android - hardly profitable for anyone in the subscription space - and the ever promise of the web and it’s 1/10 fee (Stripe and other competitors with worse UX will charge about 3% of your transactions). Not so easy fellows… I’ve failed at executing this twice myself (worse unit econ). Check Eric’s thread on the topic.
Early (biased) data shows our assumptions may be completed wrong. Consent could be much higher, LAT too (or maybe not, that dataset wasn’t quite reliable), but CPM may drop much less than expect… :popcorn:
Timing is everything: the same day Apple announced the IDFA deprecation delay, they published (on Youtube…) a video ad about iPhone’s privacy.
More future-forward content from Eric: what would GAID deprecation look like. While I posit that Google would delay this move, a few reasons detailed there make a compelling case for its likelihood, as it could bring the garden walls even higher
MMPs are starting to showcase their dashboards. Ping me in DM with your own experience. Even more so: how are you you testing this, given the lack of support from networks? btw, I’m also interested to share consent popup testing experineces in private and will try to publish content on this later this quarter.
🧼 Dirty little secrets in mobile
Mintegral (Mobvista owned) SDK, which is used by apps generating 9-digits monthly downloads, includes malicious functionality leaking user data and opens the door for ad fraud through last minute click injection. Initially reported by Snyk, read also John Kostner in Forbes. Nice detail to turn off the feature if simulated/debugged/rooted/proxy’d.
Less covered by the press, but Jiguang’s (PN) SDK - and its 37.2b cumulatived installs across 1.36b devices - also did some creepy data collection in the background.
💡 Worth following
(aka: where I get my sources from)
#Hooked: The awesome growth.design looked briefly into TikTok addictive feed mechanics
AppAgent is releasing regular episodes of “Ad Eaters” showcasing creative creatives. Check S01E02 here. Good job Tina
The Cohort: 5 mobile marketing stories daily. Some gold there.
👔 Job hunting
Unless specified otherwise, reach out to me for an warm intro
Paris-based profitable, fast (organic-led) growing subs app is looking for both a CMO & a COO. Small team, big growth ahead
Sweden Fishbrain looking for a CRM/email freelancer, Braze experience a must.
London ProductMadness is looking for a UA team lead (contact Claire Rozin)
To my surprise MMPs keep hiring like tomorrow’s sun will shine as in July in Mallorca. Among many other offers. I know Appsflyer’s Berlin team enough to think it’s a good place to be.
TFT app Tacter is hiring multiple technical roles. “Own product, full remote, small team.”
Femtech is about to explode and Sexual wellness & women empowerment app Emjoy is looking for a UA manager in Barcelona, partial remote OK.
Phiture is hiring a Head of Marketing in Berlin. Great company culture there
That’s it folks for September!
Feedback: @thomasbcn / thomasbcna -at - gmail
Submissions*: same email (Proton available if sensitive).
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