Flurry Launches Service to Track Mobile App Users, Offline

The Analytics Firm Partners With Research Now, As the Race to Target Inside Apps Picks Up

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At the moment, a company like Ford can count the downloads of its mobile-app and even blast out ads for the app to "car enthusiasts." Soon, they'll know if the app users actually crossed into a dealership.

Flurry, the mobile-app measurement and advertising platform, assists brands in targeting car fanatics, "Movie Lovers," "Bookworms" and forty plus other consumer "Personas." On Monday, Flurry announced a partnership with Research Now, a digital data collecting firm, to create what they call the largest panel database on mobile users. And they're selling it to marketers.

Currently, Flurry tracks behavior and demographic data on 150 billion app sessions a month. With its new offering, the firm couples its reach with Research Now's survey tool, ADimension. Marketers can identify a target audience, strike them within a mobile-app, then see what they did after.

"Brand advertisers have shown reluctance to invest in mobile, because they don't have effective targeting solutions like they do they on the web," said Sean Galligan, VP-sales and business development for Flurry. "We can allow you to target like never before."

Research Now will measure responses from smartphone owners, using apps on iOS and Android, who "opt-in" for their survey. Adimension is currently offered in ten countries, and will be taking its first step on mobile tracking. Kurt Knapton, CEO, claimed the offering with Flurry will be the industry's first panel-based ad effectiveness product that works across platforms. (Respondents can reply on their phones or desktops.)

For digital advertisers, Mr. Galligan added, the new feature "gives them a solution that they're certainly more used to."

Started as an email app developer, Flurry has swiveled to position itself (with the aid of $60 million in venture funds) as the leader in analytics within mobile-apps. Smartphone users, Flurry claims, spend 86% of their time buried in apps---and away from mobile browsers.

Despite the rising popularity of apps, no one has produced a definitive, uniform metric or customized tool for weighing the industry, particularly as apps shift away from charging for downloads. "There are no 800-pound gorillas," said Simon Khalaf, Flurry's CEO and President. "Yet."

Google, one large potential gorilla, pushed further into mobile ad analytics last week.

On Tuesday, the company quietly unfurled four new features for AdMob, its mobile ad business. The most significant was the news that developers and marketers using AdMob would now have access to Google Analytics, the firm's behemoth analytics arm. App developers would also be given greater access to AdMob's survey data, to help steer their apps toward profit.

With Google flexing its muscles, expect plenty more activity from companies hoping to conquer the app world.

Prices for branded lift studies from Flurry and Research Now will start at around $15,000, according to the companies.

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