The Fiksu Indexes published today by Fiksu, Inc., the data-fueled mobile marketing technology company, revealed there was a great opportunity in January for marketers to reach app users. At $2.78, the cost to acquire a loyal user dropped 34 percent since last month and 4 percent since last year. And as predicted in last month’s analysis, download volumes increased to 8.8 million daily downloads in January, representing a 4 percent monthly rise.
Taken together, these results paint a picture of consumers enthusiastically downloading apps, while marketers pulled back from holiday spending. The resulting increase in available ad inventory and consumer app usage, combined with a decrease in competition, meant January was a great time to connect with the right mobile audience: cost per loyal user hasn’t been this low since May, and was only this low twice last year.
The Cost Per Install (CPI) Index, which measures the cost per install directly attributed to advertising, rose 12 percent month-over-month on iOS to $1.64. Counterintuitively, the end of holiday spending actually pushed CPIs up: marketers poured advertising dollars into incentivized channels on iOS in December to obtain higher ranks in the Apple App Store, keeping overall CPIs lower even as they spent more. Without the increased year-end competition for the top ranks, the amount of spend going to incent drops off, and prices slide up a bit.
Incent plays less of a factor in the Google Play Store, due to different rank algorithms, so the pullback of holiday spend reveals a more traditional supply and demand situation. On Android, CPI declined 44 percent since December to $1.91 as the holiday surge subsided. While this marks the end of a streak of five months in a row of more than doubling last year’s CPI figures, Android is still up 25 percent year-over-year which verifies that marketers are still seeing a lot of value and the upward trajectory is likely to continue.
“The conversion to loyalty was a lot higher this month, which shows advertisers are doing a better job of getting their apps in front of the right people,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. “As predicted, a rise in usage continued from December into January but at the same time spending pulled back, which created an ideal environment for marketers to efficiently reach their target audiences. Those who were strategic about spending in January were certainly rewarded for their efforts to find loyal users. ”
Of note, the year-end download volume ‘peak’ from December to January wasn’t as pronounced as it has been in years’ past. This can be attributed to a maturing app market, and fewer buyers purchasing tablets and smartphones for the first time. As reported by Forrester, consumers spend most of their time on smartphones using downloaded apps – but just five apps account for 88 percent of the time they spend. Although smartphone owners use about 24 unique apps in a given month, the remaining 19 command just a small slice of users’ time.
That said, with a rumored lower-cost iPhone 6C launching on March 15, marketers should expect increased competition to capture this group of new smartphone users. As seen in the past, Apple device launches bring increased activity and attention to the App Store, which raises the stakes for marketers to identify and target the right app users for their brand.
For Fiksu’s full February 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. Based in Boston, Mass., Fiksu is venture-backed by Qualcomm Ventures and Charles River Ventures. More atwww.fiksu.com, @Fiksu and on the Fiksu blog.