This week saw the launch of Verto Index™, the industry’s first leaderboard of multi-screen properties. Verto Index leaderboards provide a monthly ranking of the top performers and losers in the digital space with a focus on actual usage. For example for mobile apps, we measure actual usage of the app rather than mere app downloads. Verto Index relies on behavioral measurement data collected from nearly 500 million consumer devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs/laptops, e-book readers, and gaming consoles.
What Is Verto Index?
Verto Index provides comparable and holistic measurement through a standardized set of metrics across all digital content, such as apps, sites, streaming media services, and widgets. Each month, Verto Index will focus on a different topic, for example, gaming or streaming media services, and provide a quick overview of the market around the particular theme with timely data. Verto Index highlights the most successful players in terms of both audience size and engagement. One can compare, for example, the total mobile audience of social media services to their respective desktop audiences, or benchmark digital properties across themes: which mobile gaming apps are beating the top social media properties in terms of audience stickiness?
What Does Verto Index Measure?
The scope of the metrics reported via Verto Index makes it possible to analyze a particular industry from multiple viewpoints. Sometimes the total audience, i.e. unique users, is what matters. However, sometimes the total frequency, i.e. the number of sessions, provides the best insight when estimating the potential for an advertising channel. For many media properties and mobile app providers user engagement (time spent), session length, or stickiness (what is the active part of the audience) are the drivers of business decisions. With just one click, one can sort our Index reports across any of these dimensions based on the need and use case.
Take a look at the July Verto Index, focused on messaging apps (email, SMS, and social media messaging apps)
A Closer Look at Metrics
For a little more background, here are a few examples of the metrics we include in each Index report:
- Position – the position that a specific property achieved during the reported time period, based on its net audience reach (number of monthly unique users across app, web, and all digital devices).
- Monthly Unique Users (Net) (M) – the total unduplicated number of unique users per month for a property. Only actual usage of a property is counted for this metric, i.e. if a user had a property, such as an app, installed on their device but did not use it, the user is not reported in the metric.
- Net Reach % – the share of the total online audience i.e. all online users in a given country who used the specific property during a particular month.
- Stickiness (%) – reflects the average stickiness with the property, and is calculated as the share of the monthly users who also use the particular property daily. Daily users reflect the active loyal and engaged part of the audience, and the higher the stickiness, the bigger the share of daily users against the monthly users.
- Mobile-Only Audience (M) – the number of unique monthly users that used a property with any mobile device, including smartphones and tablets together. This metric does not sum up the smartphone and tablet users, as the same user might have used the property with both device types, but the unduplicated number of individual users.
- Time Spent per Month per User (Hours) – this metric communicates, in a comparable manner across streaming media usage, app usage and website visits, how many hours a user spent monthly with a property. The metric only includes active on-screen time of the user, i.e. no background usage is included, and validates that users are actively spending time with the property on the foreground.
- Sessions per Month per User – this metric communicates the frequency of usage, i.e. how many distinct sessions a user had with a property during one month. For example, if a user opens an app and uses it for a few minutes, then breaks out to respond to an SMS, and then continues using the previous app, the metric counts this as one session with the app. Again, the metric is comparable across all devices, apps, and websites.
- Average Session Length in Minutes – this metric communicates the length of a typical session with a property, i.e. how many minutes the user spent on average when using the property on one occasion (session).
- Desktop Users (M) – the number of unique monthly users that used the property with a personal computer (desktop PC, laptop, notebooks, etc.).
- Smartphone Users (M) – the number of unique monthly users that used the property with a smartphone (e.g. Apple iPhone, Samsung Note).
- Tablet Users (M) – the number of unique monthly users that used the property with a tablet device (e.g. Apple iPad, Samsung Tab, Amazon Kindle Fire).
Tracking the Evolution Cycles within Digital with Timely Data
Verto Index reports face a digital world of today that is evolving at a high pace; new phenomena can emerge within weeks or months, rather than years. The rapid replacement cycle of mobile devices, aggressive innovation around streaming media, and new entrants, e.g. mobile app developers, have led to significant disruptions in most areas of the media and communications landscape, ranging from gaming to entertainment, and from social media to e-commerce. Considering these rapid trends in the market, and an increasingly fragmented multi-screen digital world, timely data on market players remains crucial to any company’s strategic planning.
A Deeper Understanding of the Digital Market
Today’s digital market needs comparable metrics in order to place apps and websites on the same line to compare across universal and comparable metrics, and provide the same metrics across all digital devices and platforms. The continuous development and complexity of the digital market has been our inspiration while building the measurement platform. This is why Verto Index is capable of reporting any metric across any service category or device platform. Verto Index reports provide a timely leaderboard and snapshot of the multi-screen market, and we hope they increasingly drive discussion around the incumbent services, new emerging apps, different device platforms, and total audience and its breakdowns – for these type of analyses you need comparable numbers more than anything else!
Check out the first Verto Index HERE for the latest ranking of messaging apps across digital devices.