It’s hard to believe, but we’re seeing it again. For the third consecutive month, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, soared again jumping to 9.2 million downloads in December. This marks a 14 percent increase since last month and an astounding 44 percent rise since last year at this time. October and November results (7.8 million and 8.1 million, respectively) had each been new records.
As is typical for the holiday season, the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU), which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who actively market their apps, increased 33 percent from November to $2.10 in December. Advertiser demand pushed costs up, despite the increase in ad inventory, and was amplified further due to the success and adoption of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The continued rise in app downloads can be seen as an indicator of what may be called “the new reality of apps.” Demand for both iOS and Android apps are on the rise, which is causing major brands to pay attention and invest advertising dollars to reach their desired users. Interestingly, analyzing marketing cost trends on apps compared to games shows a marked split. December Cost Per Install Index (CPI), which measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising, showed iOS and Android games decreased by 15 percent and 6 percent respectively; while conversely, CPI’s on iOS and Android apps increased 42 and 47 percent respectively. This division may indicate that game app marketers have chosen to stay away from the heightened prices this holiday season, while top-tier brands are investing more to reach users.
In the world of Android apps, the Cost per Launch (CPL) Index, which tracks the cost to drive a mobile app engagement, increased by 32 percent since November. When measuring year-over-year trends, however; these costs are on a downward slope, decreasing 30 percent since last December. The overall growth in the volume of both devices and downloads has created an increase in advertising inventory. For app marketers, particularly on Android, it is still a good time to invest and get the most bang for their buck.
For our full analysis of this month’s results, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.