5 Critical Steps to Analyzing Your Media App the Smart Way

Today we’re going to be talking about some of the best practices for tagging your news and media content consumption app. What do I mean by that? These will be apps that will have articles, videos, and audio clips to listen or watch.


1. Tag the Right Events

First, we’re going to talk about some of the events you should implement within the app itself, with the SDK. The local SDK automatically records things like device types, OS version, or new users. Events are a good place to start, because they describe the actual attributes within the app. Events actually also have attributes that describe in detail what the actions were and how users took them. In your media app, you’ll want one event for every time a user views an article, watches a video, or listens to an audio clip. You'll want to be sure to record the name of the article they were viewing, the issue, and how long they listened to the clip for, or how far into the article did a user get.

Secondly, you also want a set of events for the interactions a user can take with the article - commenting on the article, rating the article, sharing the article with friends, etc. Then be sure to record in details the attributes, the rating itself, did they like it or not like it, how they are sharing it, was it email, Twitter, Facebook, and so on.

The last event you want to record is a summary event that will describe the session that occurred, and a user's interactions within that session, so you'll have the total number of articles viewed, the total of the ads seen, how many ads they clicked on, or how many videos they watched, to get an idea of an individual session, and what kinds of things users can do.


2. Choose Custom Dimensions

Custom dimensions are a good way to group users by certain attributes or properties. For media apps, one thing you might want to have is a subscription type; are they trial users just for the day or are they weekly, monthly, or quarterly subscribers?

If you don’t have a subscription model or even if you do, you might want a custom dimension for the issue type; summer 2013 issue, autumn 2012 issue, etc. By breaking down the usage by issue type in the dashboard, you’ll be able to see lots of trends on what the popular issues were. Some other common custom dimensions we use across all apps are gender and age. Tag by male, female, 24-30, 31-40, and other demographic information.


3. Define Funnels

Outside the app and the SDK, there are things you can do in the dashboard itself to get at some of these insights. Funnels will be a good way to track the different individual events you really want users to do within the app.

For example, the purchasing of issues: let’s say you really want users to purchase a particular issue. You need to follow all the steps of that process to see what’s happening. You'll want associated events and to create a funnel for when a user enters the issue store, the particular issue to purchase, and then the purchase of the issue itself. If you have a very socially engaging app that depends a lot on social sharing aspects of the app, you'll want to track all of the different comments from users. When users create the comment compared to when they submit the comment, see how many users drop off or how many make it to the actual share with friends.


4. Establish Segments

Segments are a good way to group users who have and have not done certain actions. From comment segments, this media app might find users who have only attracted to one specific kind of content. For example, they’ve read articles, but they never watched a video, or they’ve watched videos, but they’ve never listened to an audio clip. We can isolate those users. For more diagnostics, you can see users who have tried to download an issue but failed because the connection timed out or it was too big. You can keep track of those users through their abandonment rates, to see if they're having a bad user experience.


5. Refining The Messaging

Finally, let’s talk about some of the messaging campaigns that all of these previous things will feed into and will be a way you can start acting on these insights. You'll want to run a few messaging campaigns. One will be for the trial users, reminding them that a subscription’s ending soon, to give them some sort of incentive to subscribe now, like 50% off or one month free. Or you might want a campaign for users who failed to download an issue, reminding them that they can download over Wi-Fi, or to try a different issue that’s slightly smaller.

If you have users who only listen to audio clips, but never watched a video, encourage them to watch the video or find one of the videos in the past which were really successful and send it to them as a call to action.



These are just some of the basic things to get you started with your media app with Localytics. Once you’ve setup some of these tags, you can optimize, send messaging campaigns and really try to get within the deepest insights.


Free News and Media Apps Best Practices Ebook from Localytics