A week has passed since Mobile World Congress, but here at Appsumer, we are still buzzing with excitement from our trip to Barcelona. The colossal venue that is Fira Gran Via felt like home for 100,000 attendees last week. Many were there to witness a flurry of announcements and new launches from likes of Huawei, Samsung, Sony, LG – all on the hunt for new technology that could revolutionise how they communicate.

Home for Appsumer at MWC is – as always – the App Planet: a place that brings together more than 200 app-specific businesses in one space. It’s a way more intimate space than the rest of the congress, but highly concentrated with exhibitors from an abundance of app businesses.

Collectively, over the course of the four day event, we had dozens upon dozens of chats with clients, partners and mobile marketers from every corner of the (app) planet. It’s only fair that we share the insights we uncovered from these conversations. Without further adieu, our top 5 learnings are:


1. There is a shift from IAP to subscription models

We spoke with a lot of app businesses who seem to be diversifying their portfolio of apps by adding new titles with subscription models. This is particularly true across health & fitness, utility and dating verticals. The reason being? Users are willing to pay more than you might think for subscription apps. Although the scale of users isn’t as big, undoubtedly, the long-term benefits of the subscription model, in the form of loyalty and consistent cash flow, are worth the investment in marketing spend.


2. BI teams and UA teams’ specialities aren’t always aligned

We found that more and more companies who we spoke with have started to build some form of automation or optimisation system for user acquisition processes. What we commonly find in app businesses is that while BI teams understand data extremely well, understanding which dimensions matter for campaign optimisations is very specific to a UA professional. Not to mention building and maintaining a multitude of APIs is extremely time consuming for a BI team. Our solution empowers BI teams -they are able to pull all UA data through our API instead of maintaining several – saving them dozens of hours of manual work per week.


3. Teams are struggling to attribute ad revenue at a granular level

Increasingly, app publishers are generating revenue through in-app advertising – App Annie predicts that app monetisation will more than double by 2020 to $120B globally. We spoke with various app developers at the event who are struggling to calculate ad revenue at a granular level. The good news? It looks like Mobile Measurement Partner, Adjust, is starting to implement user-level ad revenue tracking with the help of ad network, IronSource’s API.


4. The UA tech stack is becoming increasingly complex

This was our third year exhibiting at the almighty Mobile World Congress. Upon arrival, it was interesting to see how many new players are entering the field – new analytics tools, networks, DSPs, PMDs, fraud prevention tools – you name it – all popping up and setting up shop. As Eric Seufert said when he mapped out the UA tech stack back in 2017 “The mobile user acquisition space doesn’t lend itself to end-to-end solutions: each segment of the “stack” is comprised of solutions that require a significant amount of investment into development, in some cases with a specific set of expertise”. This couldn’t be more true:

At the conference we spoke to various desktop and mobile web companies making the shift to mobile, thirsty to learn about new tools and service providers that could aid the transition. What struck them was just how messy the mobile landscape is, in juxtaposition from the uniformity of the desktop and mobile web tech stack. You might be wondering where we sit in all of this mayhem. Watch this space for a piece relating to just that in the coming weeks.


5. Conference goers love to boogie

With an event that puts networking at the heart of the agenda, it seemed only right that we host our very own networking party – in collaboration with Google – to celebrate our newly formed Premier Partnership. It was a night to remember (although thanks to the drinks –  I’m not sure many did), and great to put faces to some names, and have a jolly old knees up with the brightest minds in mobile.


Until next time, MWC!