AccuWeather: Opening its APIs for new customers and new revenue

About AccuWeather

AccuWeather is the world’s leading weather media and big data company, serving nearly 2 billion people and more than 30 billion API data requests daily. It’s the preloaded weather partner on 9 out of 10 of the world’s top smartphones. The AccuWeather API Developer Portal allows easy access to the most accurate, detailed weather data to develop innovative new weather experiences.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

AccuWeather has evolved to offer JSON-formatted, easily cached, and highly efficient APIs that can handle the massive volumes of data required by the mobile world.

Within two months of launching the AccuWeather developer portal:

  • Over 6,500 users signed up
  • Nearly 2,500 users created API keys
  • Close to 60 users purchased one of AccuWeather’s three API packages

Processing 30B+ API requests per day

AccuWeather has enjoyed great success sharing its world-class weather data via APIs with a range of global partners, who have built applications for connected cars, smart homes, wearables, smart TVs, mobile devices, and more.

But, the company wanted to get its data into the hands of a new kind of customer: individual developers. It needed a way to engage this audience and tailor its offerings to the varying needs of developers—and monetize those different offering levels accordingly.

“Monetization was a key selling point of Apigee for us. Being able to get started with Apigee, sign up, break out our APIs into set packages, and have developers come in and purchase—it’s been a great tool for us.”

Mark Iannelli, Senior Technical Account Manager, AccuWeather

Monetization

To build a simple and fast way for developers to get started building with an appropriate level of API calls and features for their needs, AccuWeather realized it required a sophisticated API management platform—one that enabled different tiers of offerings by bundling APIs into different products, each with their own rate limits and pricing.

“Monetization was a key selling point of Apigee for us. Being able to get started with Apigee, sign up, break out our APIs into set packages, and have developers come in and purchase—it’s been a great tool for us,” said Mark Iannelli, Senior Technical Account Manager at AccuWeather.

Unlike a train schedule or flight info, some weather data must be updated throughout the day. Current observations, such as temperatures, storm outlooks, and rain potential, can change by the minute—as evidenced by the volume of AccuWeather’s API requests of over 30 billion per day.

On the other hand, daily forecasts tend to be more static, reducing the need for constant updates. AccuWeather offers different weather content as distinct APIs—including current conditions, daily forecasts, hourly forecasts, and indices—so developers call data as needed. This, in turn, helps reduce unnecessary data requests that increase data usage and potential battery consumption in mobile devices. But it also drove the need for a new way to charge users.

“With a base monthly fee, but also a CPM (cost per thousand) calls rate, users can customize API consumption to their specific needs,” says Iannelli. “Apigee helps us to track and bill that traffic. We love that.”

Flexible billing for API usage also helps ensure that developers’ products don’t fail because of increased traffic, according to Iannelli.

“We don’t want monthly quotas preventing developer or product growth—we want to encourage this by enabling pay-as-you-go,” he says.

“A single developer always has the potential to be working on the next big thing and become our next big enterprise partner. We needed a way to reach them, and the AccuWeather API Developer Portal, powered by Apigee, accomplishes that.”

Mark Iannelli, Senior Technical Account Manager, AccuWeather

The developer portal

Even with its newly defined API products and fine-tuned pricing plans, AccuWeather needed a way to entice developers to try these customized packages, minus the hassle that can sometimes go along with getting started with a company’s APIs.

“Before we had an API management platform, developers who wanted to look at our APIs needed to reach out to our sales team and go through a very manual and time-consuming process to get started,” says Iannelli. “We wanted to make this self-service, so that developers could demo, purchase, and then start developing.”

With the customizable Apigee Edge developer portal, developers can sign up quickly, learn about the AccuWeather APIs, test them out, and sign up very easily.

“We want to reach a new audience, and help them grow their ideas with AccuWeather,” says Iannelli. “A single developer always has the potential to be working on the next big thing and become our next big enterprise partner. We needed a way to reach them, and the AccuWeather API Developer Portal, powered by Apigee, accomplishes that.”

Analytics

Key to keeping its API products geared to the needs of its users, the analytics capabilities offered by Apigee Edge enable the AccuWeather team to observe traffic patterns and understand how users view weather data over the course of a day. This helps ensure that information is provided to users when and how they want it, quickly and efficiently.

“With Apigee Edge, we’re able to keep close tabs on who’s signing up, what sort of traffic they are producing, from where—and even observe unexpected patterns in traffic activity,” Iannelli says.

This helps AccuWeather not only ensure that developers are using the APIs as designed, but also to target those who might be candidates for other API packages or options that could better suit their needs.

Looking ahead, Iannelli notes that working with Apigee will enable AccuWeather to quickly respond to the needs of its customers and develop new API products.

“Every customer has unique products or features they might need. We look forward to getting to a point where we can accommodate all of those unique needs. With Apigee, we know that’s possible.”

About AccuWeather

AccuWeather is the world’s leading weather media and big data company, serving nearly 2 billion people and more than 30 billion API data requests daily. It’s the preloaded weather partner on 9 out of 10 of the world’s top smartphones. The AccuWeather API Developer Portal allows easy access to the most accurate, detailed weather data to develop innovative new weather experiences.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States
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