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Knowing more information about how and why smartphone owners reinstall an app might be a bigger deal than most mobile marketers think.

That’s the conclusion from Seattle mobile marketing startup Tune, which today announced a partnership with Apple to access and share data about measuring the difference between new and returning app users.

It’s part of a new integration with the Apple Search Ads Attribution API that allows Tune to give its customers more information about mobile app conversions.

Tune builds technology for mobile marketers, app creators, ad agencies, and many other players in the industry to track and analyze app downloads and usage. The company said it is the first to use Apple’s updated attribution API in a mobile attribution measurement product.

“Until now, mobile marketing experts have lacked a definitive means to measure app reinstalls, and consequently have remained widely unaware of them,” Tune Mobile Economist John Koetsier wrote in the report. “The prevalence of reinstalls worldwide coupled with a new capability to measure them will massively impact how mobile marketers approach retention, engagement, and user acquisition.”

The report analyzed 3.1 billion global app installs from November 2017 to May 2018. It found that 42 percent of app installs are reinstalls. Based on an additional survey of more than 1,000 smartphone owners, Tune said that a majority of reinstalls happen for reasons other than limited storage space — “in fact, the biggest reason is simply deciding to give the app another try,” the report noted.

Other nuggets from the report:

  • Search drives 65 percent of all app reinstall behavior.
  • Games are reinstalled 55 percent more frequently than non-game apps.
  • Productivity, social networking, and travel apps are the categories with the highest percentage of reinstalls.

“Access to this data will enable our customers to measure app redownloads accurately, then tailor marketing efforts to increase customer retention,” Tune CEO Peter Hamilton said in a statement. “It’s a huge win for marketers who want to create bespoke programs capable of deepening connections with customers.”

Tune, ranked No. 15 on the GeekWire 200, was founded by twin brothers Lucas and Lee Brown in 2009 under the moniker HasOffers. The company rebranded to Tune in 2014. Total funding to date is $36.4 million. Other mobile attribution competitors include Kochava and AppsFlyer.

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