The New Year is off to a strong start, as the January 2015 App Store Competitive Index surpassed the 10 million download mark for the first time ever, coming in at 10.3 million daily downloads compared to last month’s previous record high of 9.2 million. This represents a 12 percent growth month-over-month and a marked 61 percent leap since January 2014.
Along with the impressive app volume downloads, mobile marketing costs also broke records in January: the Fiksu Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU), which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who actively market their apps, reached an all-time high of $2.90, a 38 percent increase from last month and a 61 percent year-over-year rise (compared to $1.80 in January 2014). January’s Cost Per Install Index (CPI) and Cost Per Launch Index (CPL), which track the cost per app installs attributed to advertising and the cost to drive a mobile app engagement, increased across both iOS and Android this month.
The high marketing costs noted in January provide further proof that marketers are adapting to ‘the new reality of apps’ as consumer demand is driving attention from major brands and creating increased demand on the app landscape. This trend is paired with a rise in sophisticated targeting activities, as marketers begin employing more precision targeting and robust strategies to find long-term and valuable users for their apps. While this approach will drive better overall results, it is costly, as evidenced by this month’s numbers.
Of note, January marks the fourth consecutive month we have seen new highs for app download volumes. This growth pattern is somewhat expected following the holiday season, which typically results in a surge in app usage. However, it will be interesting to see if this upward trajectory continues in February, or if app downloads decline for the first time in months.
The main message for marketers: be strategic about targeting, and get familiar with channels that offer several layers of audience targeting, such as Facebook, Twitter and RTB. These sophisticated methods are sure to become a larger part of the app environment in 2015.
For our full analysis of this month’s results, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.