That is a good question, one that you really only hear from larger publishers with the budgets for that sort of data. I worked for a direct competitor of App Annie, name of which I will not provide, but it was not Distimo. Here is what I can tell you…accurate estimates for downloads/revenue can only be done by a company that has access to a LARGE swath of real time, raw data from top ranked apps all the way down to unranked apps. We’re talking…a lot of apps. However, the most important data required comes from top ranked apps in every single category and sub-category of iOS and Google Play…as most people are using the data to try and forecast ad budget/buys to get them to these ranks in order to sustain organic growth…and then figure out how many installs they’ll need to buy to sustain that rank.
As a result of this…there are truthfully only a few companies out there that have access to such data that would allow their data scientists to come up with accurate algorithms. App Annie has probably about 1 million solid apps using their analytic’s (after the Distimo acquisition), and Flurry has…well we all know how many apps they have…but they don’t sell estimates, and probably never will. Of course there are a handful of other analytic’s providers out there with access to a good amount of data, but they’ll never enter the space because you cannot compete with App Annie. Here’s the thing, App Annie is like 90%+ accurate in their predictions for top ranked apps. This is not because their anayltics tool is so great that all the top apps want to use it…it’s because they’ve leveraged deals with these top publishers to get access to their game/app data in exchange for free, or discounted competitor data packages. So, long story short…if you want to buy data, it’s pointless to buy it from anyone else other than App Annie…because if you’re going to buy it, you want it accurate…very accurate…because when it comes to forecasting your ad buy, accuracy matters. Now it sounds like I am working for App Annie right now…but I assure you I do not work there. I’m telling you this because we competed hard against them, and quite frankly could not compete…because our data paled in comparison. Truth is, until recently, App Annie’s prices were so extreme, that they priced out most of the mid-market publishers…because publishers had enough data on their own apps for their analysts to make relatively accurate predictions…enough to get them to where they need be without the App Annie data package. That seems to now have changed and they’ve dropped some of their prices, and are now offering some kind of $60/app/month deal that actually sounds pretty decent (I haven’t exactly checked it out myself in depth, but it seems fair.)
Long story short…do not believe any company that says that they’re able to provide accurate estimates for DL/Rev unless you can verify the amount of apps/internal app data from MANY (THOUSANDS) of top ranked apps…because they’re lying. If you want to bite the bullet and buy data, App Annie is the only option right now. That said, if you want some advice on app data and forecasting, check out some of my posts on the ada site:
Share you paid advertising experience | Marketing, Distribution, and Analytics | XDA Forums
How do you make money from your apps? - Pg. 4 | Monetization | XDA Forums
I’m also always happy to respond to people with questions about this sort of stuff, even though it’s not my job anymore. I now work for quite an amazing supply-side platform called Appodeal- we are designed and built by veteran game publishers for publishers. We partner with all ad networks/RTB exchanges/DSPs to provide access to every single ad request in real time…something that cannot be done by working with just one or two companies on your own with your own custom waterfall. Very high eCPM, maxed fill-rates, and free for publishers. As our CEO is a fairly large publisher, and we’ve built the company on top of his own portfolio…we truly are made for publishers. Our goal is maximizing ROI for the publisher, not the advertiser…and provide round the clock customer support
As I had said though, if anyone wants help or has questions on competitor data/forecasting ad buys, I’m always happy to help. Just drop me a line!