Priori digs deep to find the truth about mobile app stores

The company is a planning to lauch its app analytics platform next month

German startup Priori Data is set to launch an app analytics platform designed to help developers, and anyone else who's interested, find out what's really hot and what's not on Apple's App Store and Google Play.

The problem with the two big app stores is the lack of public information available from Apple and Google. Developers don't know how many downloads or how much revenue apps are generating, or even how many apps there are in total. That's what Priori is hoping to change.

"Our platform is quantifying the app economy by providing all the necessary statistics, letting users draw conclusions and reach decisions quickly," said Anders Lykke, head of sales at Priori, in an interview at the Slush startup conference in Helsinki.

The commercial version of the platform will first be made available to users who have tested it, followed by a big launch on Dec. 1, Lykke said.

Priori starts by looking at app categories and drills down from there. A developer who's interested in the productivity category can see how big the market is, including whether the total number of available apps and downloads is going up or down. They can also see what the split is between free apps, in-app purchases and paid apps. Those numbers can then be sorted on a country and per-app basis.

The data can be used in multiple ways, according to Lykke. New entrants can decide what markets to go after by looking at how likely users in a particular country are to download apps other than the top three in a specific category. Companies with enough financial muscle can see how many downloads they need to reach the top, Lykke said.

The information in Priori's database is based on multiple sources, including data scraped from the app stores and information obtained directly from developers. The latter is the most crucial part, so the company is letting developers that share anonymized app data access the platform for free. Investors, consultants and others will have to pay a subscription fee.

"The more developers we partner with, the better our platform becomes," Lykke said.

Priori isn't the first company to try to make sense of the mobile app stores. The company has a tough competitor in App Annie. On Tuesday, App Annie boasted that 15 companies had quoted its data in their earnings reports in the past quarter, including Apple, Baidu, Rakuten and Softbank. Since Apple CFO Luca Maestri mentioning App Annie in an earnings call earlier this year, demand has grown exponentially, the company said in a blog post.

Still, Lykke thinks Priori can provide an alternative and compete. Price will have to play a part in that, but for now Priori isn't ready to say what it will charge.

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