Case Study


one-day retention for app users


one-week retention for app users


shares from users referred by deep links


GigTown is a local show and music discovery service that showcases up-and-coming musicians in a user’s immediate area through detailed artist profiles, performance schedules, and a full booking service. Rising musicians already have strong relationships with local fans, but GigTown found that they have difficulty cutting through the noise of other discovery services. GigTown sought to empower musicians with referral capabilities to continue building their following. As a result, they saw an uplift in retention and sharing.


  • Enable more direct fan and musician engagement
  • Build a referral system that works on all platforms and devices
  • Increase social sharing frequency


  • Integrate with Branch for shared links and automated referrals
  • Incentivize sharing between artists and fans by crediting referrers for every unique download associated with a shared link.


  • GigTown experienced a 41% increase in 1-day retention and a 33% increase in 1-week retention for users who downloaded the app from a deep link initially shared by an artist.
  • Users who were reffered by deep link were 6.5x more likely to share the app with their social sphere.


In today’s crowded music discovery market, local musicians are challenged by remaining connected with their fans across many different online channels. It’s difficult to compete for users’ attention with limited resources. Despite this, one of the most important advantages for local musicians is the personal relationship with their dedicated fan following – which is where GigTown comes in.

GigTown’s music discovery app was built specifically for local musicians as a targeted channel to connect with their strong fan following. The platform leverages Branch deep linking technology for app sharing functionality and innovative marketing campaigns to build on the personal connection between local musicians and fans.

To further the local artist and fan relationship, GigTown launched a marketing campaign, “Dollars for Downloads.” The campaign used custom Branch links to create a direct discovery pathway to musician profiles while incentivizing shares through the Branch Referrals feature.

Social sharing and a custom referrals system

The Problem

GigTown needed an effective way to increase engagement between artists and fans. They wanted to design an incentivized referral and social sharing program with Branch links to do so.

The Solution

Let’s see how GigTown utilizes Branch links and referrals in an example featuring musician Kathryn Cloward’s show at a venue in San Diego.

A user shares app content with a Branch link in just two clicks.

Ahead of the show, the artist and fans can share in-app content from her profile or the concert page directly from the GigTown app with an easy-to-share link. This link is compatible across every device, every platform, and every app store, including the latest iOS 9 update. “Branch allowed us to become compatible with iOS 9 Universal Links, significantly reducing the burden of server management and SSL configuration,” explained Anthony Persaud, GigTown’s Chief Product Officer. By handling every edge case on every platform, Branch allowed GigTown to focus more of their time on building out their sharing and referral features.

Each Branch link creates a direct user pathway to specific app content. If the link was created at the artist profile level, the referred user who clicks the link will be sent directly to the profile. If the link was created from a page with the show information, referred users will be brought to the show content. Branch technology allows GigTown to bundle user data with each interaction. Using this data, GigTown can determine which sharing channels and features are most successful to optimize the sharing process.

The benefits of Branch deep links are not only for those who already have the app installed. Fans who aren’t current app users are first prompted to download the app. Once downloaded, users can skip the login process and pass through to in-app content rather than a general app welcome page. GigTown leverages the bundled user data to determine if the user follows the musician, automatically adding them as a follower if not.

A user receives a text with a Branch link and can see the app content immediately post install.

Users are able to share their experience at the show across their channels via GigTown. Branch shared links include an open graph tag feature, which provides a preview of the app content. The visual context creates an opportunity to engage non-users before the install wall. GigTown configured open graph tags across their sharing options to engage new users as early as possible.

Branch partners can change Open Graph tags to customize shared links on social.


With the Branch Referrals feature, GigTown configured a rewards system for each unique download. GigTown set up logic, known as ‘Reward Rules’ in the Branch Dashboard, which tracked who referred a user and if the user was new to the app. Referrers were automatically credited when they initiated a new download. The referral feature acts as GigTown’s primary referral system, saving them development time and making it easy to launch referral programs.

Users were 6.5x more likely to share the app when they themselves were referred with a Branch link. One-day retention increased 31% and one-week retention increased 33%. The opportunity for artists to share their inapp content directly with their fan base and then the fans’ ability to share that same link throughout their social sphere fostered a far more meaningful connection. Branch links created a smoother content sharing experience on the GigTown platform for artists as they continued to build their fan base.