The Fiksu Blog

App downloads soar in October, while loyalty costs stay grounded

Fiksu App Store Competitive Index October 2015

App downloads were flying high this October, rising 23 percent since last month and reaching 7.9 million total downloads. With the late September release of the latest iPhone—the 6S—consumers got straight to work during October, installing apps on their new devices. In the meantime, the cost to acquire a loyal user fell slightly. This leveling of CPLU happened as a result of app loyalty: as many iPhone 6S users added ‘vital apps’ to their new devices—apps they already have a tendency to keep and use—this drew the overall cost to acquire users in October down.

Higher media costs this October were reflected in the Cost Per Install (CPI) Index, however, which doesn’t take loyalty into account. The CPI Index showed an increase of 12 percent to $1.72 on iOS, a rise of 18 percent year-over-year. Unsurprisingly, advertising costs are high leading up to and during the holidays, but the flurry of app usage also increases the supply of in-app advertising inventory, which has a moderating effect on overall costs.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we expect to see app downloads continue to rise. As smartphone users experience more downtime, the holiday’s become an important time for app discovery and sharing their favorite apps with friends and family. For marketers, it can be an expensive time for acquisition—but it’s also prime time to put strategic effort towards user acquisition.

Additionally, this season is a great time for marketers to work quickly to turn short-term consumers into long-term ones. Recent comScore research uncovered that app store charts and featured apps are two of the top ways users discover new apps. It goes without saying that the more loyal app users you have, the better visibility for your app. A great approach to getting those users is to use both remarketing (using data from a non-mobile channel to get customers engaged with your app) and retargeting (serving ads to people who have already downloaded your app) techniques to keep your users coming back for more. You can check out our blog post on this approach here.

To read more about the data, along with our full analysis, check out the results here:

Thanks to all who covered the October Index, including Heather Newman at VentureBeat.