March was the month of market maturity for our Indexes, as app developers continue to improve the quality of offerings, advertisers adopt more powerful programmatic and optimization techniques, and device usage continues to skyrocket.
Fiksu’s App Store Competitive Index hit a record high of 7.1 million daily downloads in March, a 41 percent increase year-over-year. Although this Index is only indicative of iOS traffic,eMarketer predicts that growth rates for Android and iOS will be almost identical at 18.2 and 17.8, respectively, in 2014, so it is likely similar parallels can be expected with Android downloads.
Although traffic was high, marketers were able to keep spending in check through programmatic buying, indicated by the drop in Fiksu’s month-over-month Cost per Launch Index for both iOS (down 10 percent to $0.17) and Android (down 5 percent to $0.10). The decrease in Cost per Launch is not a result of more devices in the market, but of the dramatic increase in app usage.
Continued growth in app usage means more downloads, more launches and more time spent in apps, but at the same time, marketers are still hit with the challenge of attracting loyal app users. If we compare the 20 percent year-over-year increase in Cost per Install in iOS to the 7 percent year-over-year increase in Cost per Loyal User Index, we can see that marketers are getting smarter about leveraging the right ad formats, ad creatives and targeting tools to reach the right users. Otherwise, without these optimization and targeting capabilities, the CPLU Index would have likely seen an increase of 20 percent year-over-year.
More of the March analysis can be found here: http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes/March