The Leaf.fm story began in late 2013 in Costa Rica when a couple of friends developed an idea for a startup that would combine music, community and commerce, and give fans an engaging way to discover and connect with the artists they love. The app quickly rose to success, and soon Leaf.fm was one of the most popular music apps in Latin America. Today, the service is available in 187 countries and enjoyed by 370K music fans each month.
In 2014, having received support from a UK government program encouraging foreign tech startups to move to Britain, Leaf.fm started a new chapter in its story and it moved to Newcastle, England.
When Leaf.fm started out they had little resources or money, so they applied to the FbStart program to get advice and tools that would help them scale.
One of the most valuable benefits they got as part of FbStart membership was free Facebook ad credits. Receiving credits worth $500 was an incredible boost for a startup whose entire marketing budget was $12 a day.
More importantly, the free Facebook ad credits gave the team the freedom to experiment with different ad formats and learn what works best for the different audiences they were targeting across the globe. The lessons they learned early on in the process are still helping them today.
To give its listeners more convenient access to the app, Leaf.fm integrated Facebook Login. Even though people don’t have to sign up to enjoy the app, 60% of its customers choose to do so. And 98% of these customers prefer to log in with Facebook over other sign up methods available.
Facebook Login has a number of additional valuable benefits — listeners get personalized Leaf.fm music recommendations based on the artists they follow on Facebook, and the Leaf.fm team receive valuable insights on their customers' profiles and music preferences, which in turn help them create a more personalized experience and serve their customers better.
Looking to identify their most engaged customers and increase the number of monthly active users with the best balance of CPA and lifetime value, Leaf.fm turned to Facebook App Ads.
Over the past 1.5 years the team has run approximately 25 ad campaigns driving over 900K new app installs with an average CPA of just $0.10. Over time the app has amassed 1.6M unique users, 370K of which engage with it every month.
“Facebook algorithm for ad budget has proven to be much more advanced and accurate than any other platform. This allows us to find the best performing ads much faster and with higher accuracy. This means that we invest less time working on setting up the ads and we get more and higher-engaged customers.” – Melvin Salas, Head of Growth at Leaf.fm
When Leaf.fm was looking to develop a deeper understanding of its customers based on the actions they took in the app, it turned to Facebook Analytics.
Funnels helped the team measure and better understand the characteristics of customers who listened to a certain artist or performed a particular action in the app. Insights gained from funnels helped the team double its Day 1 customer retention from 25% to 50% on iOS. In addition, learnings gained from iOS, helped the team to start on a strong 30% customer retention rate when they launched on Android.
Additional filters, such as age, gender, country and actions taken against specific App Events set up by the team, helped to narrow the customer profiles even further. App Events have been particularly useful in building a better understanding of customer retention. The team identified certain App Events that had correlation with retention, and now are able to identify customers that perform these events the most.
The team has also tried building Lookalike Audiences to identify potential new customers similar to their existing ones, and this functionality has been successful at increasing the reach of their advertising and social media campaigns.
Inspired by its success in Latin America, Leaf.fm is now setting its sights on the US and Western European music industry. The team has set an ambitious target of reaching one billion minutes spent in the app every month within the next 12 months. This means continuing to develop a great product, acquiring new customers and engaging with the existing ones, and its partnership with Facebook helps them to achieve that.