Case Study

8tracks sees huge lift in time spent and retention rates just by personalizing the onboarding experience with Branch.


time spent in app


one day retention

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8tracks, the popular user-curated music service, has been focused on growing their mobile app to new users and existing web users. With native app usage surpassing mobile browsing, the 8tracks team aimed to create a seamless experience to draw people into their app. To do this successfully, they leveraged the Branch deep linking platform and rolled Branch links out across multiple channels: mobile web, email and social.

8tracks has very loyal users, but there's always room for improvement. Users that experienced Branch's enhanced deep linking would spend close to 200% more time active in the app, and came back the next day with nearly 90% more than users that received the generic onboarding flow or were sent to the home screen. It was hugely impactful to the business metrics.


  • Improve user onboarding experience
  • Improve user retention rates
  • Increase engagement and app usage


  • Add Branch to support deferred and direct deep linking
  • Deep link into specific playlists, even for new users
  • Integrate Branch links across mobile web and other channels


  • Users redirected straight to playlists instead of having to search for it
  • 197% increase in time spent in app
  • 89% increase in 1 day retention

The Problem

The music industry is a very competitive vertical. To get ahead of competitors, 8tracks knew they had to build out a native mobile community of its own. This is not an easy undertaking, as it requires users to install an app and often complete additional onboarding steps to continue where they left off. Conversion rates for this flow are notoriously low and it's often blackbox since tracking app installs is challenging. However, it's been shown that the investment in native mobile is a worthwhile one, since users are 300% more likely to convert and spend 7x more time in native apps vs mobile web.

From 8tracks on mobile web the user is presented with an interstitial to easily transition to the same playlist in the 8tracks native app, even through new installs.

The Solution

One example flow built by the team was the mobile web prompt. 8tracks targets users listening on mobile web to switch to the more favorable native app experience through the use of a small interstitial and a simple green button in the mobile web UI. The calls-to-actions on these are powered by Branch links to yield extremely accurate deep linking as well full funnel attribution of views, clicks and custom event conversion. Clicking either of these brings the user to the same playlist the user was listening to on web in the app, where they can resume listening in the superior UI. Branch's unbeatably accurate deep linking powers this routing.

The results were shocking. A user routed to the right playlist spends 197% more time in the app compared to a user that installs and has to search for the intended content themselves. These same users were also 89% more likely to come back the second day as compared with users not receiving these experiences. In other words, 8tracks cut app abandonment in half for this portion of their user base.

Similar to the interstitial, when a user discovers a playlist on mobile web they’re able to graduate from the mobile web experience (using the green button at the top right) and deep link to the native app where the music begins playing from where they left off.


By leveraging Branch to power deep linking for their channels, 8tracks was able to build powerful new user flows that had a significant impact on their business and keeps users coming back. Beyond the improved user experience, 8tracks was able to get real time feedback into the conversion rates everywhere Branch was placed. Branch even hosts these links, handles every edge case, and maintains all routing logic to make deep linking easy. One platform to rule them all.