TUNE’s Acquisition Spree Now Includes Artisan Mobile (Officially)

TuneArtisanWhat leads users to install an app is important, but what happens after the install is critical.

That’s one of the main reasons behind attribution company TUNE’s purchase of real-time analytics and messaging startup Artisan Mobile, announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rumors about the buyout were first circulated by VentureBeat on July 12.

Artisan marks TUNE’s third acquisition since April 2014, when its spree began with the addition of mobile cross-promotion platform Appfuel, followed in August by organic app marketing company MobileDevHQ.

Over the past year, TUNE has combined the tech it brought on board from Appfuel and MobileDevHQ with its own buy-side-centric attribution product, MobileAppTracking, to create what the company is calling the TUNE marketing console, a hub where marketers can handle their paid, owned and earned media at once.

Where does Artisan fit in? According to Peter Hamilton, CEO of TUNE, it’s about starting to focus more on the lower-funnel activities of existing users.

Artisan’s technology allows advertisers to create segments on the fly using first-party data. When users pass through the rule or logic of a defined segment, they’re automatically added to the group.

“There are a lot of things that marketers can do with those kinds of segments,” Hamilton said. “They can message people if their app crashes or if they’ve had a bad experience, or they can send out a discount code to people who need a little encouragement, for example. Some of that will be in-app messaging, some will be push and some will be email.”

That said, TUNE doesn’t have aspirations to make messaging a core part of its business or even a core part of its revenue. It’s more about making TUNE’s SDK as sticky as possible.

But Hamilton is adamant that the underlying purpose of the marketing console is to make life easier for the marketer, and that means maintaining an open ecosystem. TUNE has relationships with a number of mobile marketing automation partners, including Appboy, Kahuna, Swrve and Localytics.

The integration of Artisan’s SDK with TUNE’s SDK will take place over the next couple of weeks, followed by a deeper integration of Artisan’s functionality directly into the marketing console. That latter process will take several months.

There is value in a single SDK with lots of different functionality baked in. Each SDK developers add to their app increases the file size and the potential for app crashes.

Hamilton observed that the industry is ripe for more consolidation, mobile in particular, mainly because there’s been so much investment in the space to date.

“There have been a lot of great and early ideas in mobile and we’re coming to a point where some of those are going to succeed and be cash flow positive and some are not,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot of these companies start to pull together.”

TUNE, which Hamilton says is profitable, has raised two rounds of funding totaling $36.4 million. For its part, Philadelphia-based Artisan, whose client roster includes A&E Networks, Shoprunner, Fanatics, Brooks Bell and Neat, had raised a more modest $7 million since its founding in 2010.

Artisan’s “small” product and engineering teams made the move on Monday from their previous home base in Philadelphia to Seattle, where TUNE has its headquarters. TUNE, which is up to about 300 employees, also has offices in San Francisco, New York, Tel Aviv, Seoul, London and Berlin.

It’s been almost a year and a half since HasOffers, as TUNE was then known, had the dust-up with Facebook in February 2014 that led to its ousting from Facebook’s mobile measurement partner program over the way it was handling client access to device-level attribution and performance data.

 

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