Along with the release of new versions of its software across all of its platforms yesterday, Apple also rolled out a change that will have a major impact on those publishers building apps for Apple TV. Developers are now able to track analytics data related to their apps’ performance on the new streaming media player, which, with the launch of the fourth generation Apple TV, now includes an App Store.
According to Apple, developers will be able to monitor a number of metrics regarding their tvOS applications, including user engagement, monetization, product page views, downloads, and more. Plus, they’ll be able to track how well their marketing campaigns are performing, too – that is, how many of the developer’s iOS users acquired by a campaign also opened the same app on the Apple TV.
Developers can also promote a tvOS app in another tvOS app and track the results using campaign links, Apple notes.
And developers will be able to see how their customers are using their app by monitoring user sessions, active devices, and crash reports. Plus, they can track how well users are converting from free to paid customers by tracking in-app purchase data.
This sort of data is critical to developers who want to actually grow their app business on Apple TV, as it allows them to get an overview of how well their app is performing, and what may be going wrong that they need to address. This same sort of data has been available for iOS applications since the launch of Apple’s own analytics service last year.
Ahead of Apple’s own App Analytics service, many developers had no choice but to rely on third-party data, like that provided by firms like Flurry or App Annie, in order to track metrics and data regarding their apps’ performance. The advantage to using an in-house solution run by Apple, however, is direct access to mobile download and engagement data that’s not available to third parties. That said, many developers still choose to keep their outside services, as they offer more advanced feature sets than what’s available within Apple’s own product. But at the very least, Apple provides a baseline with key metrics important to developers.
Along with support for analytics data, the Apple TV app store will also be getting a number of new features with the next software update, which was released in beta to developers yesterday. This includes the ability for users to move their apps into folders on the Apple TV home screen – something that could have the side effect of hiding apps from view, meaning they get launched less frequently. Having access to app data will help developers track how the changes to the user interface may impact their apps.
Since its debut, the Apple TV app store has been steadily growing, with expansions into more categories beyond “Games” and “Entertainment” – the only two available at launch. As of early December, the store was said to include over 2,600 Apple TV apps.