How WildTangent is Shaking Up the Android CPI Market

Posted 9/14/2015 9:49:23 AM by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

How WildTangent is Shaking Up the Android CPI Market
We recently visited with WildTangent’s Sean Vanderdasson to discuss how the company’s platform helps developers achieve Android app installs.

The WildTangent network is facilitated by distribution partnerships with many of the world’s top devices manufacturers (OEMs) and mobile operators. The WildTangent network provides the ability for users to choose in one click which apps they want to install on their new mobile devices during setup and throughout the lifetime of their device. 

WildTangent’s platform is one of the world’s fastest growing CPI networks and expects to achieve 2 million Android app installations per day on smartphones and tablets by the end of the year.

ADM: Can you explain how the process works for developers wanting to publish their app for device manufacturer or mobile operator distribution so users get their app during device setup? 

Vanderdasson: Certainly, but first, I hope everyone understands what truly great news this is for consumers. It means that preinstalled (and typically uninstallable) bloatware is going away. This is HUGE news - smartphone/tablet industry disrupting news!

And, believe it or not, device manufacturers (OEMs) and mobile operators seriously do care about the user experience. They simply haven’t had a reliable, scalable solution until WildTangent pioneered the AMP platform. Now, during the device setup process, WildTangent presents consumers with an opt-in selection of apps to choose from, and with one click, all apps chosen by the user download and install - it’s an incredibly powerful, yet elegant consumer experience, and WildTangent is very proud to be the industry leader.

For you, the app developer, this means that for the first time ever, there is a level playing field regardless of your company size. In the past, preload was restricted to a limited number of top brands and big budget apps. Those days are gone. We are 100% focused on providing consumers with quality apps that span all categories and interests, and not simply games/apps with the biggest budgets and brands. 

All app developers can participate and we let consumer choice decide, optimizing in real-time by device, region, etc so that consumers and app developers each obtain exactly what they are looking for.

So, if you are an app developer that wants to get your quality app considered for inclusion, simply visit us our website(contact us via the contact form) or send us an email and we’ll get you started.  It’s a simple and quick process.

ADM: What are the costs involved for a developer? 

Vanderdasson: There are no upfront costs. The cost to a developer varies depending on the app, app category and region of the world, and is based upon installs/first launches. That said, it is accurate to say that the rates we charge are substantially lower than typical CPI market prices. We can do this because we are hyper-efficient, focused on quality, and we understand that every app has a different lifetime value. We want both the consumer and app developer to benefit. As an example, we recently offered a promotion for 25 cent installs. It proved quite successful and we can do this because we are extremely efficient at delivering the right apps to the right users.

ADM: What about updates?  (How are apps installed via our service)? 

Vanderdasson: We distribute the version of an app that the developer provides us (If you don’t know how to provide it, we can assist with that as well as future updates). For the consumer, after the initial download from us, the user simply updates the app through the standard Google Play process. 

ADM: How does the usual freemium / advertising models come into play with this type of distribution?

Vanderdasson: Placement of an app is free to app developers. There is only a fee based upon install/first launch tracking and we operate on a range of deal structures, including CPI, CPA, and revenue share, among others. I know it’s sounding redundant at this point, but we are focused on getting the right apps to the right users and in an economic model that works for each app developer.

ADM: Comparing the publish-market-install (keep or delete approach) for developers, how does the OEM distribution retention rate compare?

Vanderdasson: Our OEM distribution based app retention is much higher (we have some apps that consistently perform 300% better) than normal because the consumer is making a conscious decision on each app as part of the device setup process. It is at this moment that consumers are establishing what apps they truly want on their device to: solve problems, match interests, entertain, as well as discover new apps they might never have known existed. 

There are also several studies that confirm that after the first 30 days with a new device, 2/3 of consumers typically do not download a new app in a given month. So, the moment during device setup is becoming even more critical for app developers.

ADM: What is the approval process like to get an app published through WildTangent?

Vanderdasson: Simple and straightforward. We’ve been in the app distribution business for over 15 yrs and have it down. With just a little information about your app we go to work.

First, we assess apps across our proprietary consumer analytics interest matrix, run multiple automated tests for device compatibility and security, and have our team actually use the app for further assessment. This process usually takes us a couple days at most. 

As for our business terms, they too are simple and straightforward. No gotchas, no gimmicks. We are a real U.S. business and are interested in working as partners with app developers and agencies from around the world. We won’t work with app developers, regardless of size, who attempt to game the system, manipulate attribution tracking, or other silly tactics. Our platform knows definitively when an app in installed, launched, and even uninstalled, so there is no way to abuse the system which can happen today in the normal CPI network space.

ADM: The app market is insanely over-crowded - so much that most indie developers don’t stand a chance against larger advertisers with big CPI budgets. How can WildTangent help the little guys too?

Vanderdasson: That’s a great question, and hopefully you already have a sense of how I’m about to answer. We have a long, successful history working with developers of all sizes, including thousands of indie developers. We place our emphasis on the quality of an app vs the size of a developer’s CPI budget. We then go to work matching apps with the right users. 

That said, at the end of the day, the app developer needs to have a good app with a good business model that is correctly implemented, be that advertising, commerce, or a combination of both. We can significantly help app developers with insights into their app(s) with our analytics and advertising tech, so if that is of interest too, feel free to ask. 

For example, do you know the click rates of ads (banner, interstitial, etc) in your apps? Do you know which ads perform the best and why? Did you know that many ads that are served via 3rd party ad networks in your app(s) often don’t include or have placed the call to action in the worst location of an ad which can impair ad revenue by 200% - 300%? How about that the use of the words “Download”, “Install”, and “Get” each perform wildly different? It’s amazing how much of this is overlooked.

ADM: One click (off-market) installs is an interesting concept, but how does it compare to on-market marketing through the Google Play store?

Vanderdasson: It’s simply a night and day comparison. With Google Play, as an app developer, you are hoping (praying) for editorial placements, but the big brands often have that locked up, and it isn’t dynamic or unique to each user. On top of that, you have all of these additional steps that a user must go through simply to download, install, and launch an app. In contrast, the iOS app store is merely a fingerprint verify download - basically, one step. WildTangent has brought the iOS-like elegance (1-click download & install) to Android.

I have heard the argument that the additional Google Play steps mean that the user is more qualified as a result. My response is quite simple: “So, you’re saying that Apple has it all wrong? That the reduced friction (just a fingerprint verify) is causing lower qualified users for apps and the billions of dollars they are paying out is a fluke?” I think the argument for the benefit of additional steps really is just an excuse for CPI networks to over charge app developers for distribution due to the current inefficiencies with the additional steps. But, I digress…

If you want a number on just how much more efficient we are, here it is: +550%. That’s not a typo…OVER 550%. That’s a big number, but what it really means is that you likely have been paying 5.5x too much per install via standard CPI networks today. I’m sorry - that stat probably just made you lean over in pain for all the wasted money you likely have spent. So, let’s fix that.

App developers with quality app(s): Now is your moment, so don’t waste it and cry about it later. If you want to be one of the first apps on a new Android device, chosen by the consumer, and at substantially lower rates, then email, print out, staple to the forehead of whomever is the CEO or other decision maker in your organization to get their attention. 

Sean Vanderdasson joined WildTangent in June 2004 and oversees WildTangent’s revenue-generating products and services. He has almost two decades of experience in the online retail and entertainment industries. Prior to joining WildTangent, Vanderdasson founded the eCommerce business and served as vice president at Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. In April 2000, he was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. for his accomplishments at Wizards of the Coast. Vanderdasson holds an MBA degree with honors from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a BS degree in finance law from Portland State University.

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About the author: STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Stuart Parkerson has an extensive background in niche technology publishing.

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