About Football Addicts
Football Addicts, based in Sweden, provides one of the most popular football (American soccer) apps in the world, Forza Football. Users can follow teams, players, or leagues and get live scores and results. But what sets Forza Football apart from its competitors is that it gives fans the ability to rate games, players, and transfers. Until now, understanding fan opinion has been an inexact science. Pundits have relied on piecing together information from social media, where often only those who shout the loudest are heard. Forza Football wants to democratize the game by recording fan reactions to critical match-related questions. This will lead to a better understanding of how they really view things and “put football in the hands of the fans,” as CEO and founder Patrik Arnesson puts it. The app has around three million monthly active users who voted a total of 51 million times in the last 18 months.
Like any app developer, Football Addicts wants to track how its product is performing. Until recently, it had been using a large mobile-analytics vendor. Arnesson explains that the company soon decided that it needed more customizable insight into its own data: “With our previous provider we realized we did not own our data, which meant that we couldn’t export it. We wanted to build our own tool with the metrics we thought were important to us—not what somebody else thought was important.”
Why Amazon Web Services
Football Addicts was looking for a combination of flexible, pay-per-use pricing, as well as complete ownership of all data and particular features like the ability to track custom events. In its search, it approached several vendors of different analytics tools, but the only one to tick all three boxes was Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its Amazon Mobile Analytics offering. Amazon Mobile Analytics allows automatic export to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for storage or to Amazon Redshift for analysis of app usage patterns with SQL queries or other tools.
Football Addicts also built its own dashboard, which it calls Freekick, to visualize custom metrics based on the data from 1.6 billion user events across 100 million sessions per month.
Using Amazon Mobile Analytics, Football Addicts has complete ownership of its data. With this, it can track what matters most to the company, rather than relying on generic metrics chosen by an analytics provider to satisfy a majority of clients.
Arnesson gives the example of retention rates: Football Addicts knew that a small number of users who installed the app did not go on to use it. The questions were when and why. With Amazon Mobile Analytics, the firm discovered that most of these users abandoned the app during the initial 15 minutes, while they were going through the startup guide. “It was obvious that we had to improve the startup guide to boost retention,” says Arnesson. “We’re doing that right now. When we’re finished, we’ll A/B test it with Amazon Mobile Analytics and either roll it out or do a second iteration. We’re only able to achieve this with Amazon Mobile Analytics.”
Month-on-month user retention rates are offered by other mobile analytics platforms by default. But Arnesson says that this is not a useful indicator of the app’s success, due to the seasonal nature of the sport. Before switching to Amazon Mobile Analytics, the company wasn’t sure if its year-on-year retention—a much more telling metric—was going up or down. “Luckily, we found it was increasing,” Arnesson says.
Now the company can gain greater understanding of retention rates by country and address individual markets accordingly. Football Addicts found that some countries had much higher retention rates than others–almost double in some cases. “The insight we gained through AWS allows us to take action by improving our product for a region before spending money marketing it, for example,” says Arnesson. “Before, we might have made changes to the app, but we didn’t know what performed well, what did poorly, and what had no effect at all. Now we do. With Amazon Mobile Analytics, it’s not about how many things we can achieve. It’s about having the knowledge to do the right thing.”
“The insight we gained through AWS allows us to take action … It’s about having the knowledge to do the right thing.”
Patrik Arnesson, CEO