Install Assists and Overlap Rankings

Becky Doles

With our release of multi-touch attribution in January, we expanded our attribution scope to include pre-conversion interactions that directly impact the Holy Grail of mobile app advertising – the conversion. Just as Google launched their multi-touch funnel analysis for traditional display advertising in 2013, we too decided to delve headlong into what it means to drive conversions and the interactions required to ultimately do so.

MobileAppTracking makes use of last-click attribution which is the best method for accurately attributing a conversion, i.e. an install, to the appropriate referral advertising partner. However, at the same time, we realize that this one advertising partner may not have been the only contributor to your mobile app being downloaded and installed.  Taking this into consideration,  we added the ability to measure not only the attributed install itself, but also install assists and non-windowed install contributions.

Why is this so great? If you have multiple advertising partners with whom you run your campaigns, you probably already know why. Insight into multi-touch attribution empowers you to:

  1. Dive deep into the relationships between your multiple advertising partners and their interactions with your audience.

  2. Make better marketing decisions based on a more complete picture of an advertising partner’s full impact.

  3. And let’s not forget, prevent you from paying for duplicate installs!

Given the benefits of multi-touch attribution, you will want to know how best to go about viewing these new metrics and understand what it is they reflect. In this report, we analyze the Install Assist metric across all of our integrated advertising partners and provide several rankings to illustrate the interplay between last-click and other interactions and how this affects your understanding your advertising partners’ performance.

Install Assist Quantity – Is More Better?

This ranking analyzes all our advertising partners and ranks the top 10 as having the highest quantity of Install Assists.

Install Assists Rank Advertising Partner
2 Applifier
3 Vungle
4 Ampush
5 RevMob
6 PlayHaven
7 Millennial
8 InMobi
9 Facebook
10 Airpush


As you can see, prominent banner advertising networks and video advertising networks make up the ranks. Advertising networks like RTB and Millennial Media interact with millions of users via banner ads, which traditionally create awareness. Video ads create similar awareness as well. It should come as no surprise then, that advertising campaigns focused on awareness have a higher tendency to receive credit for Assists as their goal is to not actually drive the conversion itself.

Install Assist Ratio – Creating Awareness vs. Driving Conversions

The ratio of Install Assists to Attributed Installs is a further indication of whether the advertising partner is receiving more credit for awareness, while other of your advertising partners are receiving credit for driving conversions from the last click. We will call this the Assist Ratio.


Assist Ratio = Install Assists / ( Attributed Installs + Install Assists )


The ranking below analyzes all of our advertising partners based on this Assist Ratio.

Assist Ratio Rank ad_network_id Assist Ratio
1 VisualTAP 32%
2 RevMob 31%
3 Moboqo 28%
4 27%
5 Altrooz 25%
6 Applifier 23%
7 Vungle 11%
8 Millennial 11%
9 DSNR Media Group 10%
10 HeyZap 9%


As you can see, only a few of the advertising partners (those in bold) from the above ranking on total Install Assists appear in the top 10 Assist Ratio ranking. As is evident with these two rankings, it is entirely possible for an advertising partner to have a large quantity of Install Assists as a result of driving millions of total installs and therefore have a very low assist ratio.

The assist ratio highlights the fact that advertising partners with a high assist ratio are not getting credit due to your other advertising partners being able to ultimately encourage the user to install your mobile app. A user that sees an ad from one of these advertising partners with a high assist ratio will more likely need to see an ad from another advertising partner; an advertising partner that will get the user to install the app and get credited with the Attributed Install.

Should you be worried that one of your advertising partners has a high assist ratio? No! If you think about it, without awareness how would a user even know about your app? You want advertising partners who will drive awareness of your app, just as much as you want advertising partners who will drive users to install it. In fact, you could be undervaluing the importance of high assist ratio partners as up until now, the industry has focused on installs from advertising partners with the last click, completely ignoring the impact generating awareness has on driving installs. Thus, using Install Assists and Non-windowed Contributions can help you make better decisions based on the value of each of your advertising partners and how they’re fully interacting with new users.

Overlap – Relationship Between the Install and the Assist

Insight from multi-touch attribution can also give you insight into the amount of overlap that exists between any two advertising partners. We define Overlap as when a user interacted with ads from two or more advertising partners, and only one is credited with the Attributed Install and the others are attributed with Install Assists.  If an advertising partner had completely unique users then they would not be credited with any assists, just with attributed installs.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 9.00.26 AM

Non-windowed Contributions are not included when determining Overlap, as the advertising partner with the Non-Windowed Contribution would not bill you for the installs since it is outside of their attribution length. Advertising partners that we report Non-windowed Contributions for would not even use this to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns since they are outside their attribution length.


The ranking below analyzes all of our advertising partners based on Overlap.


Rank Install Publisher Assist Publisher
1 Millennial RTB
2 Applifier Vungle
3 Millennial Vungle
4 Vungle
5 Ampush
6 Applifier RTB
7 Millennial Ampush
8 Applifier Ampush
9 Applifier AdColony
10 Millennial
11 Millennial Inmobi
12 Millennial Applifier
13 Applifier
14 InMobi Facebook
15 PlayHaven Vungle
16 PlayHaven RevMob
17 PlayHaven RTB
18 Millennial RevMob
19 PlayHaven Applifier
20 Everyplay GameAds Millennial


Overlap can be a good indication if two advertising partners are actually getting traffic from the same places. Given the ranking above, it would appear that RTB probably buys traffic from Millennial Media. This would result in a single user having a higher chance to see ads for the same mobile app, in turn giving these two advertising partners a high overlap rate.


The graph below further highlights the overlap relationships between advertising partners. Light orange indicates lower overlap while red indicates high overlap.


Install Assists & Overlap – Good or Bad?

Multi-touch attribution using Attributed Installs and Install Assists, while cutting edge, is still finding its legs and we therefore want to continue to analyze these new metrics and explore their value together. Once we as an industry understand the Install Assists in relation to measuring campaign success based on last-click attribution, we can start to think about how to use this metric as part of compensation.


Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.