Media

App Annie launches analytics for e-books: Amazon, Apple’s iBooks, and eventually Google Play

Image Credit: Andrew Mason
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As of today, App Annie’s analytics solution isn’t just about apps anymore. Now, publishers can get detailed statistics about their digital book sales from the app store analytics solution as well.

And that’s just the beginning: Analytics for movies, and any other kind of digital content, is likely coming soon.

“At the end of the day it’s all bits and bytes,” App Annie’s VP of global communications, Marcos Sanchez, told me yesterday from a trip to Germany. “We’re looking beyond apps to what it means to be a player in the digital content space. E-books is our first step to expanding our footprint.”

This is an exciting move for publishers.

I know, because I am one, in a very small sense. I have both an app on the app store and a novel on Amazon, and the statistics and sales data that you get from both, frankly, suck hard. They are hard to read, hard to aggregate, hard to summarize — in short, hard for publishers and authors to turn data into actionable insight.

That’s never been a problem for App Annie, which specializes in presenting data in clean, beautiful, and understandable ways.

“For books as well as apps, many of the same problems for publishers exist,” Sanchez says. “There’s no clean way to get data, and no in-depth analysis from Amazon and Apple.”

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App Annie tracks e-books in precisely the same way it tracks apps, by logging into Amazon or iBooks just like you would, with your login information. Then it takes the information that Amazon and Apple provides for your content, plus the rankings for all other books, and makes it useful, breaking it down by country and region, building charts, and showing progress over time.

App Annie will also send you daily emails, if you wish, letting you know how many sales you’ve made, and how much money will be coming your way.

Again, that’s huge. The analytics solutions at both Amazon and Apple are rudimentary at very best and confusing or even opaque at worst. Add in multiple geographies and it just gets worse, often making it very difficult to see sales trends over time, or even something as simple as: How many sales have I made, and how much does Apple owe me?

“It should be a simple process,” says Sanchez. “But it’s not right now.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 1.38.40 PMThis is just step number one for App Annie beyond the app, Sanchez told me. Following the $15 million investment from Sequoia in September, the company has been looking for ways to expand strategically, and anything in the digital content space is fair game. There are some challenges here — most app publishers have one to 20 apps, but many book publishers have “a ton of SKUs” — but this is a much-needed analytics solution.

“It’s all about digital content,” Sanchez says. “We simply want to provide great accurate data.”

E-books will be a $8.2 billion industry by 2017, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study, at which point it will surpass the traditional print industry. App Annie will likely be adding books on Google Play to its digital books tracking service at some point in the near future as well.

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