has deepened its focus on mobile development and monetization by acquiring Flurry, one of the most established app analytics firms. The purchase gives Yahoo extensive visibility into the habits of
mobile users and a trove of data to target, personalize and monetize mobile content.
Flurry provides both advanced app tracking and analytics tools, as well as an RTB marketplace to a claimed 170,000 app developers. That amounts to seeing activity on 1.4 billion devices each month in 5.5 billion app sessions.
“Yahoo is on a mission to re-imagine users' daily habits, and mobile is at the center of everything we do,” the company stated.
The acquisition will also give Yahoo an RTB exchange for mobile that serves over 8,000 publishers, including The Guardian, Text+ and a number of freemium game publishers. It offers banners, full-screen interstitials and video in its exchange.
But the real pot Yahoo is buying is the data.
As mobile apps move into their next stage of development, greater emphasis will be placed on personalization and contextual awareness. In-app data and analytics are driving that trend. With visibility into over half a million apps via Flurry, Yahoo will not only have a strong toehold now in the mobile analytics business, but a large data pool from which to shape new products and target advertising.
Although Yahoo sees over 450 million of its users each month on mobile, the company has lagged in investing heavily in the technology behind the platform. Its own apps, like the
daily News Digest and Yahoo Finance, have been innovative and attractive. This acquisition positions the company more fully into the app development, ad and analytics economy.
Launched in 2008, Flurry said it presently provides analytics to about 170,000 developers around the world, and monetization services to about 8,000 publishers.
A purchase price was not disclosed, but reports suggest the deal amounted to hundreds of millions.
To date, Flurry has raised over $70 million from First Round Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and other investors.
The news comes on the heels of another unimpressive quarterly earnings report from Yahoo. Revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was down 3% year-over-year to $1.04 billion in the second quarter. Yet Yahoo’s mobile display and mobile search revenue each grew more than 100% year-over-year, CEO Marissa Mayer told analysts on the earnings call last week.
Mayer also noted that Yahoo recently began serving its own mobile search ads in the United States for the first time since 2010.
From Google and Adobe to Apsalar and Flurry, the mobile analytics space is a crowded one. A recent Forrester report counted 17 mobile analytics providers. Late last year, Facebook took Israeli mobile data company Onavo off the market.
According to the Forrester reports, however, just 46% of eBusiness executives surveyed said they had used a third-party service for measuring mobile activity. Most businesses (69%) said they relied on existing Web analytics providers for the mobile Web, with only 4% opting for a specialized mobile solution.