The new iPhones had a dramatic impact on app downloads in September—but not in the direction you might think. We saw a sharp decline in app download volume, down 21 percent to 6.4 million daily downloads, the lowest volume since last September. Seems like consumers anticipating an upgrade to one of the new iPhones at the end of the month cut back on their app downloads. It makes sense: why go looking for new apps when you know you’re about to upgrade? Similarly, the release of iOS 9 and resulting flurry of app upgrades issued by developers may have contributed to the lack of downloads. Users waiting on their new devices likely didn’t upgrade to iOS 9, and some app upgrades required the latest OS.
Meanwhile, seasonality may have played into the slowdown, as summer spilled further into September than usual with a late Labor Day this year. And as fall did arrive, it brought with it the onset of major advertising campaigns for fantasy sports apps (like our client Draft Kings) who bought up a significant portion of the available mobile ad inventory. Less inventory meant users were exposed to fewer ads from other apps than they would have been, potentially contributing to the drop in downloads.
On the cost side, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU) reached $4.14 in September, up two percent since August and 84 percent year over year—and still at its highest point ever. The Cost Per Install Index (CPI) increased 16 percent on iOS to $1.53, a rise of 26 percent year-over-year, and fell two percent on Android to $1.88, an increase of 65 percent since last year.
We do expect volume to rebound in October as the new phones get into more users’ hands. Ultimately, as the holiday season looms—a competitive time of year in app marketing—marketers will need to start spending smarter and working harder to target the right audiences and ultimately, acquire more loyal users.
To read more about the data, along with our full analysis, check out the results here:http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.
Thanks to all who covered the September index, including VentureBeat.