The BRAG Blog: Music Apps That Can Blow Their Own Horn

Jun 09, 2022
By: Ravi Pimplaskar

The BRAG Index, or Brand Relative App Growth Index, is a first of its kind report released by Digital Turbine and Apptopia in May 2022. The BRAG Index measures a brand’s app installs against its brand funnel (defined as consumer awareness and install intent) to find brands that had app growth that transcended its market presence. 

The BRAG Blog gives you deeper insight into our findings. Read the full report here.

Ring a Bell

Music & Audio has some similarities to Streaming Video in that there is a fierce battle for consumers dominated by several well known brands: Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Apple Music. All of these apps had awareness over 70%. On the other hand, the category also had several lesser known brands with 7 apps having awareness of less than 10%. Intent to install was also fairly disparate with the better known brands all having high levels of intent (with one exception) and the lesser known brands having low levels on install intent even among those aware of the app. 

The category mostly shook out as you one might hypothesize: with the brand leaders garnering the most installs. But if you’ve been a follower of the BRAG Blog, there are always exceptions with apps blowing away their growth expectations. Spotify was one leader that shattered expectations, while Shazam and Audiomack were two apps with lower awareness that transcended their growth potential. 

What’s in the Box?  

Spotify’s install numbers via Apptopia’s Performance Data were 2 times higher than the second most installed app in the category (Pandora). The dominance over other apps that had equally high awareness and install intent led Spotify to that lofty place in the top right corner of our BRAG Box (and the top of our BRAG Index). 

Spotify’s dominance made it the only app in any category to lead in Awaress, Total Installs, and BRAG score. Additionally, it was the only top BRAG-ger in 7 categories to be surveyed as a brand leader in terms of awareness and install intent. Amazing stuff indeed! 

Despite this, a few other apps stood out in our rankings as well.  

It Takes Two to Tango

The BRAG index has shown that one of the most powerful ways to outperform growth expectations is through device and ecosystem integration. Apple has owned Shazam for 3 years and finally gave it premium placement within devices – showcasing it in their control center for easy discoverability. This, along with integrations with Snapchat and Spotify, allowed Shazam to have the fourth highest installs in the category – an impressive feat with so many well known brand names!  

Dancing in the Dark

Out of our brand leaders listed above, only 2 fell short of growth expectations – Apple Music and Amazon music. On one hand, these apps certainly have high usage, which makes this result surprising. On the other, since they are device dependent, their distribution could be somewhat limited to iPhones and Amazon devices. In fact, Apple Music had an install intent of only 1.9%, which is likely the result of people either having an Android device or having an iPhone and already using the app. 

Return of the (Audio)Mack

One app that came absolutely out of nowhere was Audiomack, which began our survey period with 1.4% awareness and 0% intent to install. However, the app managed to take advantage of the “creator economy” boom allowing artists to easily post their music to fans….  And it was FREE for both parties. In other words, they gave people no reason not to share music through their app.

What’s Next?

While the music economy is shifting giving independent musicians a voice, there is still a gap between the haves and the have nots in this category. While apps like Audiomack can make strong plays for market share, they are unlikely to garner the high levels of awareness that Spotify and Pandora have – at least not yet. 

Check out our previous BRAG Blogs for profiles of all 7 app categories in the BRAG Index:

Start Spreading The News (Apps)

Product Innovation & Fitness App Growth

The BRAG Blog: A Streaming War Full of Surprises

How Shopping Apps Keep Up With Amazon

How CashApp Ruled Finance

Food & Drink Apps

Which Apps Got UA BRAG-ging Rights. . . and How Did They Get Them?

By Ravi Pimplaskar
Read more by this author