Comparing Apsalar Traffic Report to Apple iTunes and Google Play reports

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2016 10:34PM PST

Apsalar, Apple iTunes, and Google Play Store use different reporting methodologies that WILL result in some discrepancies in reporting between Apsalar's Traffic Report and Apple iTunes Connect reports for iOS or Google Play Store reports for Android. On both the App Store and Play Store, there are different reasons in addition to lag in reporting an install versus a download that will make numbers be different and not match up. Apsalar and the App/Play Store are not comparing the same metric (install versus download). All tracking partners have these same discrepancies due to how SDKs track versus how the App Store and Play Store track, so the discrepancy is a very common thing to see. We do a lot of education around these types of data differences and have worked with Apple and Google to come up with these reasons for why the data can't be compared. Neither party will investigate these discrepancies because of the different methodology in tracking and due to the App Store and the Google Play Store not exposing the device IDs that their systems have tracked. Despite this, we have detailed reasons below for these discrepancies to help you better understand why they occur.

Follow the steps below when comparing the two reports, and contact Apsalar Support if you are experiencing discrepancies not explained by the items below.

Comparing Apsalar Traffic Report to iTunes Connect reports

Apsalar's Traffic Report and Apple iTunes use different methodologies for reporting on installs: 

  Apsalar Apple iTunes
Download vs. App Open Tracks install when the app is first opened Tracks install when the app is downloaded (the user may never open the app)
Install date Uses the date of when the app is first opened for organic Installs, and the date of the click for referral installs Uses the date of when the app is downloaded (the user may download but open the app at a later date)
Report timezone  Installs reported in PST  Installs reported in different timezones depending on the install's territory
Jailbroken devices Installs are tracked from all app stores Installs are tracked only for Apple App Store 
One user with multiple devices Installs are tied to the device - if a user installs the app on multiple devices, the install is counted multiple times Installs are tied to the user's iTunes account - if a user installs the app on multiple devices, the install is counted only once
Multiple users with one device Installs are tied to the device - if multiple users install the app on a single device, the install is counted only once Installs are tied to the user's iTunes account - if multiple users install the app on a single device, the installs are counted multiple times

 

Comparing Apsalar Traffic Report to Google Play reports

Apsalar and Google Play use different methodologies for reporting on installs: 

  Apsalar Google Play
Download vs. App Open Tracks install when the app is first opened  Tracks install when the app is downloaded (the user may never open the app)
Install date Uses the date of when the app is first opened for organic Installs, and the date of the click for referral installs Uses the date of when the app is downloaded (the user may download but open the app at a later date)
Report timezone  Installs reported in PST  Installs reported in the timezone selected for your account
Other app stores prevalent on Android devices Installs are tracked from all app stores Installs are tracked only for Google Play store


Apple App Store:
In addition to the abovementioned, there are two major reasons why the App Store counts downloads differently than Apsalar. The first is that the App Store counts a download based off the user's iTunes account ID. If user changes his device and transfer all apps to the new device, Apsalar like any other MMP will recognize the new device as a new install (because there is a new associated advertising ID) whereas the App Store will not count a new install of your app because the transfer of the app was linked to iTunes account ID. Secondly, jailbroken devices can account for Apsalar tracking more installs than the App Store because we will track install from all app stores and not just the Apple App Store. Since the tracking methodology is so different between the App Store and other MMPs, these numbers should not be compared. 
 
Google Play Store & Android:
The primary reasons why we would see different numbers on the Google Play Store are similar. Google tracks downloads based on IMEI which is different than Apsalar. If a user buys a new android phone and then syncs all the old apps, user will get the latest version of the app that is compatible with the new device model. So, it is possible that a user could download an older version of the client's app that is no longer readily available to the general population. However, the major reason for the difference we see is due to tracking from third party app stores and APKs. The Google Play Store does not track the downloading of APKs. In doing a simple search, you can see if you are able to download an APK version of your app from different places on the web. One way to look at how many installs are coming from APKs is to identify which app version is currently live in the Play Store and then look at a given month to see how many installs came from an older version of your app. It would be best if your team first tests the install of your app to ensure that the Apsalar SDK is implemented properly. Then you can focus on how many installs came from an older app version than what is currently in the Play Store.

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