We Malaysians take our entertainment very seriously. So when there are apps that claim to be the “numero uno” entertainment app in Malaysia, I couldn’t help but check if it is really true.
The app in question, Astro GO, claims to be the best streaming service in Malaysia but a quick phone call from my end begs to differ. Apps such as Netflix, Viu and Iflix are the common suspects when I surveyed among my network of friends. This led me to take a closer look at the information that validates Astro GO’s position as number one and....
Lo and behold, it was using data gathered from conducting a survey! Now I hope I'm not the only one that begins to doubt the credibility of the data gathered by FT Confidential Research, as it seems to “paint too pretty a picture” for Astro GO. Further digging didn’t help, as the only way I could see the data and understand how it was gathered is to subscribe to Financial Times. But is popularity by survey the best way to decide if an app is number one?
In order to determine if the app is the best, the ranking of the app is important. In your Apple Appstore or Google Play store, apps are constantly ranked based on how many people have installed it and by the average rating given by users. The rank changes constantly because it takes into consideration how long the app has been used for. High installation numbers, better ratings and long usage times of the app will result with a higher ranking.
Knowing all of this, I needed to find a platform that can show me the ranking system in order to find the number one app. For that, I checked a site called App Annie, a mobile analytics and market data platform, and found the most surprising results...
Astro GO seems to be eight ranks behind number one! The data was filtered to only consider the Malaysian market in the category of entertainment for Apple users. Okay, I am still able to give it the benefit of the doubt. It could be different among Android users, right?
Unfortunately not, as Astro GO is ranked even lower at 13th rank among the entertainment apps in Malaysia among the Android crowd!
The more I research, it seems more apparent that the image of the data provided by Financial Times could be skewed. It is possible that Astro GO could have ranked number one sometime in the second quarter of 2019 when the survey was conducted. For the sake of eliminating that doubt and with a little tweaking, I tried to trace Astro Go’s historical ranking on both platforms.
The silver lining here is that on both platforms, Astro GO did rank in the top ten from 22nd - 24th April 2019. However, to communicate that it is the number one streaming service in Malaysia because it held a higher rank than Netflix for only ONE DAY on both platforms is a bit of a stretch.
There may be some ways to argue that the respondents for the survey was done using a random sampling method (though I highly doubt it). It just seems a bit misleading to communicate that the app is the most “popular” streaming service in the country when there clearly are other favourites.