There are dozens of metrics and data points available in the subscription app world. But that can be very overwhelming! Which ones should you keep an eye on and why are they important? In this article we cover more than 15 subscription app analytics you should start tracking.
Here is Nami’s guide to the most important subscription app metrics that you should know about.
An important factor to consider when looking at app metrics is what type of purchases you support.
The main types of purchases are:
Subscriptions are recurring while non-consumables and consumables are not.
Different purchase types will impact your revenue metrics differently, as we will discuss below. If you have a mix of in-app purchase types, you may need to look at multiple metrics to get a clear picture of your revenue.
Just like purchase types, there are a few types of users you may want to track.
If your app has subscriptions, you will have subscriber users. These are typically your most engaged users and you will want to track their activity, retention, and more closely to monitor the health of your subscription business.
If your app supports non-consumable or consumable purchases, you will have paying users as well. A one-time purchase is a key indicator of engagement and you will want to focus on keeping these users engaged and purchasing again.
Finally, all users who install your app and use it are active users. These are leads who could potentially purchase. You will want to track the LTV and retention of these users to understand how to convert them into paying users.
Revenue is an extremely important core metric that represents how much money you are making from your app. It sums up all purchases from the given time frame.
Revenue takes into consideration all types of purchases, including subscriptions, and consumable and non-consumable one-time purchases.
MRR represents the normalized value of all your subscription customers. It is the most important metric for a subscription app analytics. Unlike revenue, it does not include one-time purchases, since these are not recurring. And unlike revenue, it doesn’t report the total amount of the purchase but rather the normalized monthly amount of the subscription.
For example, an annual subscription of $90 would have an MRR of 90/12 = $7.50. For every month that this customer is active, their MRR would be $7.50. On the revenue chart, this would be shown as a $90 transaction once.
MRR will often be lower than Revenue, but overall it gives you a better picture as to how your business is doing over time without the spikes of one-time purchases and large subscription transactions.
Average MRR per Subscriber looks at only your active subscriber user group and your MRR. This metric is useful to understand the monthly recurring value of any individual subscriber.
By understanding this number, you can calculate how many more subscribers you need to get to a goal MRR number. Or you can try to increase this number by moving subscribers to higher priced subscription plans through upsell campaigns.
Average Revenue per Paying User looks at all revenue for a time period and divides by all paying users. This takes into account one-time purchases as well as subscriptions and is a good combination metric for any app that sells multiple types of purchases.
By understanding this metric, you can measure how much users are willing to pay for your app and track reactions to pricing decisions.
Average Revenue per User looks at all revenue for a time period and divides by all active app users. This number will typically be much lower than ARPPU.
ARPU can be used to measure the overall effectiveness of a pricing strategy. If your ARPU is going up but your number of users is staying static, that means users are engaging more with the app and paying for your product.
This metric tracks all users who have an active subscription. Subscribers are your most engaged, valuable customers and tracking this number is important to keeping your subscription business healthy.
Metrics like New Subscribers, Trials, and Subscriber Churn are also useful to dive into how your subscriber base is changing over time.
Active App Users are all users who have had an active session with your app during the time period. These will include subscribers, purchasers of consumables or non-consumables, or users who installed and used once and then churned.
Anyone who installs your app can be considered a lead at the top of the funnel. Your goal should be to drive them down the funnel towards a subscription.
If your Active App Users are increasing but your Active Subscribers are stagnant or decreasing, this can be a sign that you need to optimize your funnel.
Subscriber Movement is a visual of your subscriber base that helps show if your Active Subscribers are increasing or decreasing overall. It is calculated by taking New Subscribers and plotting against Churned subscribers who have expired their last subscription.
The Net of New subscribers - Churned subscribers is a visual of how much your Active Subscriber base is growing. If it is trending upwards, your business is in good shape. If it is negative, you are losing more subscribers than you are gaining.
User Churn is an important metric that represents that rate at which you are losing users during a given period. While it is important to see the static number of subscribers and app users, as shown in the previous sections, it is also important to know how many you are losing, since this is another measure of health.
Subscriber Churn indicates the rate at which your subscribers are expiring. It is calculated by taking (Expired Subscribers - Resubscribers) / Active Subscribers.
The higher your subscriber churn, the more work you need to do to gain new subscribers.
App User Churn is the percentage of users who uninstall or stop engage with your app over time. It is calculated by taking 1 - (Non new users this period / Total users last period).
App User Churn is the same as abandonment rate and can show you when users begin dropping off. Using this data, you can optimize your funnel at key drop off points or times to engage users and decrease churn.
MRR Movement shows a visual of your net MRR and helps tell you if your MRR is increasing or decreasing overall. It is calculated by taking New MRR (from new subscribers being added) and charting against Churned MRR (from subscribers who expired all their subscriptions).
Some systems will also track Expanded MRR (from product SKU upgrades or price increases), Contracted MRR (from product SKU downgrades) and Reactivated MRR (from a former customer who resubscribed) as well.
The Net of New MRR - Churned MRR is a visual of how much your MRR is growing and should be tracked carefully to understand how healthy your subscription business is. If it is negative, your business is shrinking.
Revenue Churn tells you the rate at which you lost Revenue during the previous time period. It is calculated by 1 - (Non-new Revenue from current period / Revenue from previous period).
MRR Churn tells you the rate at which you lost recurring revenue. It is calculated by taking the MRR lost to downgrades & cancellations / MRR at start of period.
High MRR churn means that high value subscribers are leaving at a high rate. An ideal MRR Churn rate is negative, meaning you are gaining more subscribers than you are losing.
MRR Churn should be tracked with MRR Movement to give you a view into the future.
Lifetime Value (or LTV) is a measure of how much revenue you can expect to make from an average user throughout their lifecycle. LTV is critical to understanding how much you can invest in customer acquisition. If your LTV outweighs CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), your business might be in trouble.
Subscriber LTV focuses on the total recurring revenue from a subscriber throughout their subscription lifecycle. It is calculated by taking Average MRR per Subscriber and dividing by Subscriber Churn.
This metric is a key to track for your subscription app analytics. It only looks at subscription users and recurring revenue. If a subscription user purchased a one-time product, this wouldn’t be included in their LTV.
App User LTV takes the total bucket of App Users and measures their Lifetime Value. This metric includes all purchases, recurring and one-time, and all users. As a result, it will be much lower than Subscriber LTV.
It is calculated by taking (Total Revenue / Active Users) and multiplying by App User Churn.
Retention is the opposite of Churn. Retention helps to show you the average tenure of your customers and can expose where drop-off is happening in the funnel or which segments of customers are most likely to drop-off.
For Subscriber Retention, calculate cohorts of new subscribers for each month in a period in the past. Then for each of these new subscriber cohorts, look 1+ months ahead and sum up all the subscribers that renewed during that next month.
Average Subscriber Retention is the average number of subscribers in a cohort divided by the average number that renewed.
For app developers and publishers, subscription app analytics are extremely important to measure the health and growth of your app business. The 19 metrics described are key to keeping a pulse on your app audience and mobile revenue.
At Nami, we are constantly growing our product with reporting for these key analytics. Check back for more content on subscription app analytics and join our newsletter to hear about the latest product updates.
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