In-App Music Drives Engagement, Retention and ROI for Mobile Apps

App developers and marketers need to face the facts: it’s 2019, and users either love your app or they delete it.

In the digital fitness world, this really isn’t an exaggeration. 96% of fitness app users stick to just ONE fitness app. The rest fall by the wayside or are deleted outright.

To any app owner or marketer it quickly becomes apparent that improving retention is the best possible opportunity for improving the bottom line. There are a number of strategies commonly used - push notifications, faster in-app experiences, etc. These have diminishing returns, however, and app marketers are missing out on an entire form of engagement: sound. Specifically, implementing in-app music to drive up usage and loyalty.

We analyzed real engagement data from real apps, including a suite of leading fitness apps who have more than 400,000 user sessions a week. All in all, the results were eye-opening across all 4 major categories of app metrics:

  • Frequency of use
  • Session times
  • Conversion from Trial to Paid
  • Long-Term Retention (beyond 30 days)

A few specific highlights:

  • The 400,000 users were divided into 2 cohorts - one of them had the apps enable music playing while working out, the other group did not. The result - 70% more sessions per month for the music-enabled group.
  • A MAJOR fitness app (valuation north of $600 million) had sessions that lasted 630% longer when in-app music was implemented. You can find out which app we’re talking about in the linked study below!
  • Month-over-month, a suite of leading fitness apps saw an average increase of 2.2x in user retention over the first 30 days post-subscription when in-app music was implemented. Hint: Over 90 days, the amount of retention lift was even greater…. full data in the study!
    • Think about this carefully: as the time window increases, so does the increase in retention. Music’s influence on paying users’ loyalty increases over time - this is the most powerful driver of app value that exists.
  • When it comes to renewing subscriptions, adding in-app music boosted re-subscription rates at a statistically significant level across multiple leading fitness apps - showing that this sort of retention & revenue lift is repeatable and applicable across the health & fitness niche.

The bottom line is, in-app music = higher customer lifetime value.

Check out a deeper reading of real fitness app Usage, Retention & Subscription data in our study: