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How an Apple Music bug hurt their rating on the Google Play store

If you're not keeping an eye on customer feedback and reviews, it's easy to miss important signals. There are all sorts of useful, and sometimes critical, insights buried in your feedback data.

An insight could be an opportunity to improve your product, validate your roadmap, or, as in the example I'm about to share, the chance to identify and eliminate a bug before it damages your reputation.

There's an avalanche of data out there, and it's fun for us here at Thematic to put our platform through its paces and see what turns up. In this case, we looked at over 10,000 reviews of the Apple Music app on the Google Play store.

Looking at Google Play store app reviews, we found that the star rating for Apple Music’s Android app dropped by half a point over a month due to a bug.

So how did Thematic surface this info?
Thematic automatically applies thematic analysis to large amounts of feedback data. It categorizes the data, and identifies meaningful phrases. These are grouped together into themes.  

Take this review for example:

Here Thematic found the themes 'positive experience' and 'sound quality'.

Thematic will also detect the sentiment of a phrase: either positive, negative, or neutral. As you can see from the smiley faces, the themes in this comment are positive!

Rating changes over time
Thematic has a whole suite of intuitive visualizations, so you can get seriously granular with your data. It's really easy to look at how various scores and ratings change over time, and identify the themes driving these changes!

Here's a graph showing the ratings over time for Apple Music's Android app:

The significant drop in August 2021 - of roughly half a point - is really easy to see. Let’s zero in on what happened in August to discover the themes driving this change:

And we have a winner! If we click on ‘downloading’, we can see the volume spiked far outside its typical range:

There are more than 200 individual reviews that mention this theme. You could read through all of them or use Thematic's smart summary feature. It can pull out all the issues associated with a theme and groups them by meaning.

What's wrong with the downloads? Thematic is breaking it down for you automatically.

So, above you can see that a general issue that people mention "not able to download new songs", and extra issues users experiencing: songs "cutting out" and the fact that it affects "single songs", not albums or playlist.

We can also look at the trend for a particular theme over time:

We can see that the 'downloading' theme volume dropped after Apple fixed the issue!

Volume and sentiment spike notifications
Keen to keep your finger on the pulse of your feedback data? Our Workflows product feature lets you do just that.

Workflows triggers email or Slack notifications based on detected changes in your data, such as a volume or sentiment spike, or keywords and phrases mentioned in individual comments.

Get an instant understanding of what's happening for your customers, and don’t miss out on important changes in your feedback data!


Ready to scale customer insights from feedback?

Our experts will show you how Thematic works, what feedback data it analyzes and how to use feedback to make data-led decisions. To learn how you can make the most of Thematic, request a personal demo today.

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