Adjust is a global app marketing platform, founded in Berlin with a number of offices around the world – including in Bengaluru. The platform helps developers and marketers to understand where their users are coming from, and how they’re interacting with their app once it’s been installed. It aims to help clients make their apps as successful as possible by providing best-in-class products for analytics, measurement and fraud prevention. April Tayson, Regional VP Sales, SEA & India at Adjust, speaks more about the company and the services it provides, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:
What is your business model of providing solutions?
We live and breathe the mobile app industry – we know the problems faced by our clients and continually work to provide solutions that will not only solve these problems but also help elevate their mobile marketing and take it to the next level. Instead of viewing our relationship with clients as a business transaction, we remain in constant dialogue with them to determine the kinds of tools they need to perform best. This provides us with the inspiration needed to build relevant, forward-thinking products and solutions.
We’re also proud to support the industry as a whole by providing educational events around the globe, and by continually releasing reports and other educational resources. As we weren’t able to host our usual in-person events this year, we hosted 260 webinars remotely, to keep clients informed and up to date on changes in the mobile ecosystem.
How do you look at India as a market where the mobile industry has grown manifold? How is it different from other countries?
The Indian mobile market has undergone explosive growth in 2020, with just a few of the huge success stories including PlaySimple, BankBazaar, FreshToHome and PocketAces. In fact, Adjust’s research shows India the fastest-growing app market in the world this year. This has been driven largely by increasing salaries, purchasing power, the subsidizing of 4G data, and the growing prevalence of more affordable smartphones. Interestingly, education is the fastest-growing app vertical in India – with banking and payments following closely behind. India is also the third highest-grossing nation in the world when it comes to mobile app spending.
Growth in the market isn’t about to slow down either, with an Assocham and PwC study from earlier in the year stating that the number of smartphone users in the region is expected to hit 859 million by 2022.
|“The Indian mobile market has undergone explosive growth in 2020, with just a few of the huge success stories including PlaySimple, BankBazaar, FreshToHome and PocketAces. In fact, Adjust’s research shows India the fastest-growing app market in the world this year. This has been driven largely by increasing salaries, purchasing power, the subsidizing of 4G data, and the growing prevalence of more affordable smartphones”|
What is your current user base and who are your clients in the tech industry?
Our user base is made up of more than 40,000 apps from all over the world and across a huge range of verticals – from hypercasual gaming to health and fitness and everything in between. In India and Southeast Asia, our clients include FreshToHome, Gameberry Labs, PlaySimple Games, QuackQuack, Traveloka, Bukalapak and Storms.
Can you please tell us about some of the emerging trends with regard to app subscriptions in India?
Subscription apps have had a massive year – 79% of the top 225 apps in the Google Play Store and 49% of the top 225 apps in the App Store in 2020 are subscription-based, despite the fact that they make up less than 1% of apps overall. In India, as with most markets globally, this growth has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people are seeking mobile entertainment than ever before. The top subscription-based apps in India this year were Disney+ Hostar, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV, Netflix and Voot, showing us that on-demand video is certainly dominating the subscription market in India.
|“Subscription apps have had a massive year – 79% of the top 225 apps in the Google Play Store and 49% of the top 225 apps in the App Store in 2020 are subscription-based, despite the fact that they make up less than 1% of apps overall. In India, as with most markets globally, this growth has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people are seeking mobile entertainment than ever before”|
OTT platforms have become a buzzword in India. What are the scopes it offers for Adjust?
OTT is one of the key verticals to pay attention to in 2021 and beyond. More and more players are competing to grab consumers’ attention, and Statista expects the US market alone to be worth nearly 48 billion USD by 2023.
Adjust helps clients maximize adoption of their OTT and Connected TV (CTV) apps, supporting almost all major CTV platforms including Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Adjust’s CTV App Measurement allows you to accurately calculate ROI and ROAS of campaigns, increase customer loyalty and test ways to boost LTV. We also recommend combining with our Subscription Attribution product for full lifecycle insights, and to be part of the first movement in the market to measure the impact of marketing in this vertical.
The gaming sector is catching up in India in a big way. What are the opportunities that it brings for brands?
Gaming was the fastest-growing vertical in 2020, followed by business and entertainment, and our research shows that India was one of the top 10 markets this year for gaming in terms of growth, increasing by 52.3%. Overall this year, mobile games saw $86.3 billion USD revenue. For India, as an already huge market with still more room to grow, this brings a lot of opportunity for game developers. More people than ever are equipped with smartphones, and trends suggest that they’re more likely than ever to install and spend on mobile games. Brands should be looking to acquire as many users as possible during this growth-period, focusing on implementing strong campaign creatives, but also on retaining users and keep them coming back to their app.
What are the common ad fraud methods in India and what measures should one take to prevent them?
Ad fraud is a pitfall in what is otherwise a very dynamic and successful industry. When looking at the gaming industry in APAC for example, we saw a 215% increase in fraudulent activity in 2020. The threat isn’t only due to the monetary value lost, but also because fraudulent (and therefore inaccurate) data sets can influence marketers’ decisions.
It’s also important to note that the fastest-growing regions, like India, can be especially attractive to fraudsters, as fraud prevention tools usually aren’t as commonplace.
There are four fraud methods that are the most common in all regions across the globe – Click Injection, Click Spam, Fake Users / Bots and SDK Spoofing. In India in 2020, Adjust data shows the most common of these four methods was SDK spoofing, which made up ~52% of all installs rejected. SDK spoofing occurs when fraudsters create legitimate-looking installs with data from real devices without any actual installs.
The only surefire way to eliminate and prevent fraud is to work with a fraud prevention solution. These make fraud financially unsustainable – meaning it actually costs far more time and resource for fraudsters to find workarounds to filters than it is to make money. Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite also proactively stops fraud before it happens, rather than reactively, so that clients don’t need to handle chargebacks with ad networks and can instead focus on driving growth.
Which countries do you currently operate in besides India? What are your expansion plans?
Adjust was founded and has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, with additional offices around the world in cities including Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Tel Aviv, New York, San Francisco, Paris, Mexico City, Moscow and Bengaluru. However, we serve clients globally, no matter where their app is based – offering high-quality, quick-turnaround support in every time zone and 17 languages. Clients often tell us the quality and speed of response from our support team is a huge asset.
Opportunity-wise, India and Southeast Asia are limitless. The region is a mobile-first market that’s seen tremendous growth in recent years
Continuing to grow our market share in the region is our priority, and that reflects in our growing presence across India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. We are actively recruiting across various departments to join our team. By significantly growing our headcount, we have been able to support clients even further, providing consistent gold standard support in their local language.
Please share some marketing successes that you have seen in the recent past
Absolutely – Indian gaming developer Gameberry Labs recently shared its story on how it used Adjust attribution to eliminate data discrepancies and streamline its mobile marketing data for a single source of truth. The business was, for example, able to invest its budgets more precisely and increase ad spend by 60-70% month-on-month.
Indian dating app QuackQuack is another recent success story. The company used Adjust cost data to guide their campaign strategy, which helped them gain a deeper understanding of which users bring the most value. This was crucial to making sure they spent their budgets wisely, and resulted in a 45% increase in new female users while maintaining the same budgets, and a 20% decrease in acquisition costs.