The App Store is already buzzing this holiday season, with our latest index showing app downloads hit an all-time high in October. Tracking the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, the App Store Competitive Index reached 7.8 million downloads. This was an incredible 42 percent rise over last month, and a 39 percent increase over 2013. The release of the iPhone 6 and availability of iOS 8 undoubtedly led to this high volume of activity as users updated their new devices with their favorite apps.
For app marketers, a key takeaway from October is the need to find a way to be ‘vital’ to your users prior to device launches and the rush of the holidays. Borrowing this term from a recent study highlighted on VentureBeat, a ‘vital app’ is one that keeps users engaged. Apps that are engaging lead to loyal users, and loyal users lead to revenue, which we at Fiksu know defines app marketing success. In October, we observed typical app behavior in the Cost per Loyal User Index, declining to $2.16 from September’s $2.25. This likely reflects users who were choosing to re-download their most-used apps during phone upgrades (another reason retargeting is so important).
Despite the slight decline in CPLU this month, the cost to acquire loyal users remains high compared to last year, rising 33 percent since October 2013. Other metrics on iOS were also up, particularly iOS Cost Per Install, which increased 21 percent from September. This metric signifies a whopping 60 percent jump year-over-year. iOS Cost per Launch (CPL) Index, which tracks the costs of driving engagement from mobile users, also rose to $0.26, an increase of 24 percent month-over-month and 39 percent year-over-year. There is significant growth in competition as advertising dollars move into the mobile space, and this reality will be essential for marketers to contend with in the months ahead.
For those marketers looking to capitalize on untapped opportunities this holiday, Android may be the place to look. CPL on Android was $0.10 in October; down 26 percent year-over-year. Android CPI was $1.10, representing a slight 1 percent rise from September, and 2 percent increase year-over-year. Given that costs and competition are lower, marketers should look to invest dollars here.
For our full analysis of this month’s results, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.
Thanks to all who covered the October index, including TechCrunch, VentureBeat, 9to5 Mac, Apple Insider, TUAW, InsideMobileApps, MacRumors, iClarified, App Advice, Design & Trend, Mobile Burn,Digital Marketing Show, GamesIndustry.biz and CBR Online.