September’s app download volume fell 21 percent over last month to 6.4 million, according to theFiksu Indexes published today by Fiksu, Inc., the data-fueled mobile marketing technology company. According to Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the average aggregate daily downloads of the top 200 free iOS apps, this represents the lowest volume since September of last year.
There are several contributing factors to this plunge in iOS app downloads, the biggest being anticipation of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus that arrived at the end of the month. Users who planned to upgrade in just days or weeks may have mentally ‘moved on’ – not interested in adding new apps to a device they’re about to sell or retire. This behavior would have had a disproportionately higher impact on the index, since those individuals most eager for Apple’s latest devices are also likely the most engaged iPhone users, and thus download more than their share of apps.
Another contributing factor was the strong uptake of iOS 9. Due to the strong adoption rate, many app developers were quick to upgrade their apps to require the new operating system. Users about to replace their phones are less likely to bother upgrading the OS, so fewer downloads of these apps were recorded in September.
Seasonality played into the slowdown as well. First, Labor Day falling late this year had an impact on the indexes, as summer softness took a bite out of September’s averages. More specifically to app marketing, this September saw a very specific seasonal change: as football preseason began, fantasy sports apps—notably FanDuel and our client DraftKings—kicked off huge advertising campaigns with significant mobile spend. Those campaigns bought up a significant share of advertising inventory, meaning users weren’t exposed to as many ads from other apps and as a result didn’t download as many apps in total.
On the cost side, the indexes measured considerable increases over last year—an ongoing theme in recent months—but relatively flat results month-over-month. The Fiksu Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU) reached $4.14 in September, up two percent since August and 84 percent since last year. The Cost Per Install Index (CPI) increased 16 percent on iOS to $1.53, a rise of 26 percent year-over-year. On Android, CPI fell two percent to $1.88, an increase of 65 percent since last year.
“For both marketers and users, we saw evidence of less engagement and activity across the landscape in September,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. “However, this is about to change dramatically as the impact of the 6S and 6S Plus is felt in October’s indexes and the countdown to the holidays begins. In this most competitive time of the year, both costs and volume will rise, so it’s imperative to be smart about spending, and that means targeting the right audiences to capture new loyal users.”
Anticipate a bounce back in volume in the coming months, and get prepared for the holidays with tips from our recent webinar; The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Tips and Tricks for Holiday App Marketing.
For Fiksu’s full September analysis, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis.
Fiksu is a data-fueled mobile marketing technology company that connects brands, agencies, and app advertisers to precise audiences throughout the customer journey. Fiksu’s mobile audience platform combines a massive, proprietary dataset with powerful segmentation tools to create, refresh, and reach audiences. Fiksu has led thousands of successful mobile campaigns to drive awareness, user acquisition, and re-engagement for clients such as Amazon, Disney, Activision, Coca-Cola, Electronic Arts, The New York Times, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starcom. More atwww.fiksu.com, @Fiksu and on the Fiksu blog.