Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Yahoo Mobile Development Suite Seduces App Makers With Analytics, Search, Ads

The tech giant unveiled its new Yahoo Mobile Development Suite that combines Yahoo App Publishing for monetization, Search In Apps, and App Marketing with its Flurry Analytics acquisition made last year. This is Yahoo’s “ads in dev’s clothing” strategy to convince app makers to buy and host its ads.
Flurry now has 200,000 app developers on its platform who have built 630,000 apps that reach 1.6 billion devices. Yahoo meanwhile now has 575 million monthly mobile visitors to its properties and hit $1.2 billion in mobile revenue in 2014, as it predicted.
“Today is about building innovative, game-changing applications,” said CEO Marissa Mayer when she took the stage. Now, rather than just make them itself, Yahoo is providing the tools for developers to build, grow, and earn money on their own apps.

Mobile Trends

Following Mayer, Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf took the stage to give an update on the state of mobile. He says there are three big trends in mobile right now:
1.    A massive rise in mobile shopping
2.    Messaging apps becoming whole platforms, like We Chat’s taxi integration, Line’s games, and Snapchat’s new Snapcash payment feature that prove people want more services from their favorite apps
3.    Phablet phones driving a massive increase in media consumption


Mobile Developer Suite

Each piece of the Yahoo Mobile Development Suite is getting its own update as well as being tied together.

Flurry Explorer And Pulse

Flurry announced the new Flurry Explorer analytics tool, which an exec said is an “ad-hoc query analysis tool” that lets you “ask complex questions of your data and get the answer in seconds.” The product is free at any scale, which poises it to undercut Mixpanel, and analytics tool favorite around the industry that unfortunately can be quite expensive depending on how many in-app events are being measured.
Flurry is also launching Flurry Pulse, which lets developers securely share any of their data with their partners with ease. No additional code needs to be written. For example, mobile app publishers serving ads can send their mobile audience data directly to comScore (a Flurry Pulse launch partner).
Previously, developers would have had to integrate another comScore SDK into their apps. This shrinks app size, increases app stability thanks to minimizing code, and removes the need for extra updates. Yahoo plans to add additional partners to Flurry Pulse soon, and is now in developer preview and will roll out over the coming weeks and months.

Monetizing With Ads

To give mobile developers a better way to monetize, Yahoo today launched Yahoo App Publishing.
Now through the Flurry SDK, developers can integrate Yahoo’s Gemini native ads that fit into different app feeds, whether they’re vertical streams, or horizontal cards. No matter what an app looks like, Yahoo’s Gemini system can morph standard ads to match the app’s design.
Last year Yahoo acquired video adtech startup BrightRoll. Now developers can pipe Brigh tRoll ads into their apps through the Flurry SDK. So if an app features video content, they can easily monetize it without their own sales force through BrightRoll. “Isn’t this great? Grumpy Cat and Big Macs in your app, and you make money from it,” said BrightRoll CEO Tod Sacerdoti.

Yahoo Search In Apps

Developers don’t want users bouncing from their apps when they need to run a web search. So today Yahoo launched Yahoo Search In Apps, an integratable search tool for mobile apps. The idea is that not only will users stick around in a developer’s app if they can search from there, but the developer can share in the ad revenue if users click on search ads.
Yahoo Search In Apps is now integrated in Yahoo’s main app, Yahoo News Digest, Yahoo Mail and Android launcher Yahoo Aviate. Externally, the Dodol launcher and Solo launcher apps now integrate Yahoo Search In Apps. Yahoo’s Jon Paris gave the example of someone using news app and wanting to learn more about the topic of the article. Yahoo lets them search without exiting the app.

Yahoo Mobile Marketing

Yahoo is tying together its three mobile advertising options for developers: Gemini native ads on Yahoo’s properties, video ads on third parties, and Sponsored Post social ads on Tumblr. Now developers can target ads in any of these channels using Yahoo’s identity data with a self-serve tool. That includes what people browse on Yahoo and Tumblr, and what they do across the web thanks to Flurry’s big footprint.

The Virtuous Cycle

Overall, Yahoo’s platform is a smart play because it dangles free analytics and monetization tools to lure developers towards its advertising products. Investors gave Yahoo a small 1.42 percent bump today as of 3:15 p.m. EST thanks to the launches. This “PlADform Strategy” is what I wrote Facebook and Twitter were aggressively developing last year.

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