Flurry, one of the best-known analytics providers for mobile apps, just released an update that lets developers see their usage by the hour and by the time of day.
It’s also adding what it calls lifecycle metrics. That lets developers track different cohorts of consumers who started using their apps at different times — maybe between big updates or feature releases. It’s a way to tell if tweaks or updates improved retention. Another rival, Apsalar, offers this in their analytics product.
Flurry has grown a formidable network of developers, tracking more than 110,000 apps across the iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 platforms and more. The company says it’s added 4,000 new developers and 20,000 new apps in the last three months.
There are several competitors including Kontagent, which has strong roots in social gaming metrics from the Facebook platform, and Apsalar. Another Seattle-based firm Medio, powers analytics for Rovio and its mega-hit Angry Birds.
In general though, analytics is a tough business as it can be difficult to charge much, if anything, for these services. The biggest developers also tend to build their own in-house analytics and there’s always a risk that the platform provider like Google or Apple might move in with their own competitive product. Flurry uses free analytics to upsell its developer community into other services that help companies cheaply acquire users and retain them. It has an incentivized video ad network which helps developers cross-promote their work in other apps. Users watch video ads — often game trailers — in exchange for virtual currency inside a game.