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Showing posts tagged with Reporting

January 13, 2014

Peter Heinrich

Closely following the launch of the A/B Testing service for iOS, Android, and Fire OS apps, we have just released an update addressing one of our most popular feature requests. You can now track up to ten goals in a single A/B test, which means you can see how your experiment affects up to ten metrics at once. This is especially powerful when the metrics aren’t entirely independent and it would be difficult to create A/B tests to isolate them from each other. Let me illustrate with an example.

Say you have a mobile game that generates revenue using a combination of in-app purchasing (IAP) and mobile ads. You know that player engagement is the key to monetization, so you decide to test a hunch that more challenging levels will keep players in the game longer.

You create an A/B test project for your app, adding an experiment that allows you to adjust the overall difficulty of each level. Since you can have up to five variations for each test (see A/B/n testing for more information), you decide to measure player engagement when the game is much harder, slightly harder, slightly easier, and much easier than normal. “Normal” will be a variation of its own, called the Control.

In this case, you create a test variable called difficultyMultiplier, which your code can access and use to modify its behavior for each user. For the control group (60% of players in this example), difficultyMultiplier is 1.00, indicating no change from the default difficulty. The other groups see a slightly different value for difficultyMultiplier, depending on how hard the game should be for those players.

To measure the effect of changing this variable, you define a view event and a conversion event, which your code records as they happen and reports to the A/B Testing service. For the purposes of this test, you consider it a view whenever a player starts a new game session. A conversion is registered if he/she plays for five minutes or more. The A/B Testing service tabulates these events by variation and reports on the conversion rate for each group of users.

Say you run the experiment and discover your hunch was right: harder levels are played longer, leading to an increase in the average amount of time players engage with your game. The logical next step would be to ratchet up game difficulty. But what if improved engagement isn’t the whole story? Changing the difficulty may affect other metrics you care about, but you can’t always tell based on a single type of conversion event. For example, how does this change the way people share their progress on Facebook, a major customer acquisition channel? How does it impact ad click-thru rates? Does it impact how users rate the game? Setting multiple goals can help you detect such unintended consequences and choose the variation that delivers balanced results.

Now that the latest version of the A/B Testing service allows a single view event to be associated with up to ten different conversion events (goals), you can measure and compare the impact of each variation along more than one axis. Each goal can be maximized or minimized independently. For example, here you are trying to maximize game sessions, in-app purchases, ad clicks, and Facebook shares while minimizing one-star reviews, all in the same experiment.

When generating reports, the A/B Testing service includes the results for all goals associated with an experiment, organized by variation. The service highlights the “best” variation with respect to each goal, so you can tell at a glance which one resulted in the most game sessions, for example (Variation C), or maximized shares on Facebook (Variation A).

When goals overlap or depend on one another, as they do here, there may be no single variation that definitively “wins” every goal. A report like the one above, however, can help you make an educated choice, weighing the trade-offs of each alternative. In this case, Variation B looks like a good candidate since it succeeded in minimizing one-star reviews and came close to winning several other goals as well. When you look at the big picture, Variation B appears to have the best performance overall.

The orange checkmarks indicate which results achieved statistical significance—that is, where there are enough measurements to be confident that the observed change is actually due to the test variation. More details are available for each individual goal, so you can drill down on the ad clicks, for example, associated with each variation:

With the addition of up to ten goals for a single experiment, the A/B Testing service expands its flexibility and becomes an even more powerful tool for refining your app and optimizing it based on customer behavior. For more information on A/B testing, multiple goals, and how you can incorporate them into your mobile app or game, check out the online documentation.

 

December 20, 2013

Peter Heinrich

We recently released an update to the Amazon Mobile App SDK that includes improvements to GameCircle and some related components on both Android and iOS. It updates GameCircle’s dependency on the latest version of Amazon Insights, corrects a few bugs, and expands API coverage of the Unity3D plug-in. For all of these reasons, we recommend migrating to the latest SDK when convenient.

Both GameCircle and its Unity3D plug-in now take advantage of the latest version of Insights, part of Amazon’s Analytics service and the piece responsible for generating Achievements Reports. Insights SDK on iOS removed a dependency on CoreTelephony.framework, while the Android version corrected an issue specific to certain device Locales and improved support for other IAP frameworks. In addition, session timeouts now behave more consistently across platforms.

GameCircle initialization has also been optimized on both iOS and Android, and GameCircle now ensures that its Javascript components are updated when migrating to a new version of the SDK. The Unity3D plug-in supports the latest Whispersync for Games syncable type, DeveloperString, which should make it easier to store arbitrary, non-mergeable game data from your Unity3D game. The plug-in also exposes the ability to show the GameCircle sign-in page.

Check out these latest changes to the SDK, and watch this space or future updates. We’re always working to improve performance, usability, and reliability of our services for mobile apps and games.

 

December 02, 2013

Peter Heinrich

Join me Thursday, December 5th at 10:00am PST for a live webinar demonstrating Amazon’s A/B Testing service on iOS.

  • Learn the five reasons to include A/B testing in every iOS app you write from now on, and how your customers benefit when you adopt A/B testing methodology.
  • I’ll explain how to integrate the service into your project and add the appropriate hooks to record conversion events and enable data collection and analysis.
  • I’ll also demonstrate user segmentation and teach you how to use simple and complex filters to restrict your tests to just the users you define.

If you have ever wondered why A/B testing is good for your mobile apps and games, or simply been curious about how Amazon’s service works on iOS, sign up for the webinar today.

 

November 25, 2013

Peter Heinrich

We have been encouraging mobile app and game developers to try Amazon’s Mobile Ad Network because of its great eCPM—effectively, how much you earn for every 1,000 ads displayed—but that isn’t the only benefit.  Performance reports put ad data at your fingertips, such as which of your apps are using ads most effectively, what ad sizes have the best eCPM and fill rates, and how the total number of impressions has changed week-over-week.  These reports are automatically available to any app that integrates the Mobile Ads API.

Now there are even more ways to refine the analysis.  Two new filters allow you to report on performance data by geographical region and mobile device type.


Performance may vary by app

By default, data for all regions and all devices is included in the reports you generate.


Fill rate may vary by app

Amazon serves most if its ads to users located in the US, so running your report with a US categorization draws a more accurate picture of the performance and makes it easier to evaluate the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.  You can also expand the region filter to include North America (Non-US), Asia, Europe, and Others. You will be able to analyze usage of your app outside of the U.S. to help you decide how to monetize your non-U.S. traffic.

You can also filter the data by which type of device made an ad request.  You may find that phone and tablet versions vary widely in ad performance, or that some combination of a particular form factor and operating system typically converts better (or worse) than other combinations.


Ad requests may vary by app

Supported device types include Android phones and Kindle Fire and Android tablets.

Being able to refine your ad performance reports by geography and mobile device type makes it possible to see detailed information on regional fill rates, understand ad request volume by platform, and accurately compare and evaluate the Amazon Mobile Ad Network relative to other mobile ad networks.  All of this reporting is easy to incorporate into your apps. Simply integrate the Mobile Ads API and take advantage of the analysis and insights at no cost.

 

August 05, 2013

Mike Hines

In previous posts, we’ve touched on the eCPM benefits and ease of implementation of the Amazon Mobile Ads service. But easy to implement doesn’t mean inflexible. We’d like to cover some easy ways you can do Ad Targeting.

In addition to being able to specify the ad unit size, there are a number of targeting options you can include in the request that's sent to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

The properties you can send to get more accurately targeted ads are:

 Property

 Argument

 UserGender

 MALE | FEMALE

 GeoLocation

 true
 [this will return current lat/long position to Amazon, and you must declare  coarse_location and fine_location in you permissions request.]

 Age

 integer

For example, to get ads that are better suited to 35 year-old males in the use’s specific region, do the following:

public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
   ...
    AdTargetingOptions adOptions = new AdTargetingOptions();
    adOptions.enableGeoLocation(true);
    adOptions.setGender(AdTargetingOptions.Gender.MALE);
    adOptions.setAge(35);

}

Easy, isn’t it.

You can also customize the floor price for the ads you receive. For example, if you want to get ads that will pay no less than $0.85 per thousand ads returned, you can do that by setting Advanced Option “ec” to 850000 micro-dollars.

For example, add the following line to the example above:

adOptions.setAdvancedOption(“ec”, “850000”);

and you will only get ads with CPM => $0.85. 

Note: The Amazon Mobile Ad Network is designed to maximize your revenue opportunity at the default setting. Setting a floor price may limit your revenue potential as it might prevent several paid campaigns from running on your placement. Amazon recommends not setting this value.

You can also specify a list of advertiser names, advertiser product categories, or URLs that aren't appropriate for your customers. Use the restrictions page under the Settings menu item in your dev portal. Please note that blocking ads may negatively impact your revenue and fill rates, and restrictions currently apply to all of your apps with ads. 

How do you see your results? That’s easy too. Check it out on the Mobile App Distribution Portal Dashboard (your dev portal home page), or by clicking on Reporting and selecting either Mobile Ads Performance to see:

  • Requests
  • Impressions
  • Fill rates
  • Click-through rates (CTR)
  • Revenue per thousand impressions (RPM)
  • Earnings

 

Or you can click on Mobile Ads Payments to see payments dispersed.

We’re happy that we’ve been able to make targeting Amazon Mobile Ads easy and straightforward. Click here to see the Mobile Ads API video and to get the Mobile App SDK. We hope you’ll give it a try in your app today.

 

June 19, 2013

Mike Hines

I had to take a class in accounting before I understood the difference between sales and earnings. Fortunately, learning about Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program sales and earnings reporting is quite a bit simpler than that accounting class. 

While there are 7 possible reports to choose from, in this blog post, we’ll cover three popular financial reports:

  • Sales reports – show basic sales less returns over customizable time periods and countries.
  • Earnings reports – show more details (including adjustments) in a fixed one-month period.
  • Payment Reports – show you what you are actually paid every month.

Sales Reports show trends in sales and returns over standard or custom time periods. You can get daily breakdowns in CSV reports, and you can see sales broken out by individual marketplace or by the almost 200 countries in which you app could be sold. Data in sales reports are updated every few hours but do not reflect processed financial data for the current month. They do not include adjustments and other data that will affect your payment.

Below are two examples of reporting that can be customized by app and international marketplace. The first is a map view. Note the drop-down buttons for ‘Date’, ‘All Apps’ and ‘All Marketplaces’. These let you show a specific date range and show sales by marketplace (like amazon.co.uk or amazon.fr) or by the country (such as Brasil or Norway).

The next example shows a tabular view of the Sales report with detail such as Units Sold, Units Returned, Units Refunded and Gross Revenue.

Sales Report

Sales Summary

Earnings Reports represent the sales, refunds, app earnings and adjustment data used to calculate royalties earned during a given month. Data in earnings reports are released on a monthly basis once royalties earned in the previous month have been processed and approved. Monthly summary information is available in the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal and daily breakdowns are available through CSV export.

Earnings Report

Payment Reports represent the actual disbursement of funds from Amazon. Monthly summary information is available in the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal on the payment reports section.

Accessing Reports Getting these reports is easy. Log in to the Amazon Portal and click on the Reporting link (shown below). Then select the report you want, then select your customization filters below that.

(Note: of the seven reports shown in the screen shot below, all but the Beta Engagement report now allow reporting by country of sale)

Accessing Reports

The Amazon Moblie App Distribution Program gives you useful reporting data that is pretty easy to access and understand. My accounting teacher would be proud. Try getting a few reports now, and see how easy it is to get data on your apps today.

January 31, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Amazon is excited to announce an update to reports within the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal. Reports provide developers with important historical and trend data for sales and earnings. Improving the developer interface and strengthening service capability were two of the most important factors we focused on for this update.

During the past two months, we beta tested the update with more than 500 developers. Many of these developers provided valuable feedback that we incorporated into the final design. 

Starting today, we will begin rolling out this update to all developers on the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.  You will notice the following changes:

  • Infrastructure updates to enhance scalability and speed
  • Enhanced sales and units reporting interface and navigation
  • Streamlined earnings report with at-a-glance views of your monthly earnings statements
  • Expanded selection of downloadable CSV reports

We encourage developers to explore the new reports and provide feedback via the Contact Us link on the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal homepage or by clicking on the Submit Feedback flag on your Reports page.

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