With natural App Store discoverability a major issue for developers, the price for marketing apps continues to increase. As more firms bid for limited marketing options they drive the price up. Fiksu's estimate of cost per app install has been steadily rising since 9/13 from $.83 to its current $1.24.
At this year's WWDC in June, Tim Cook announced the App Store has reached over 1.2 million apps. While this diverse and competitive app ecosystem has proven incredibly successful for the top-performing 200-300 apps, being discovered is a daunting and increasingly expensive proposition for the hundreds of thousands of other apps. Many app developers think the fault lies with the App Store, whose heavy bias towards surfacing and keeping 'top performing' apps in the spotlight reinforces this disparity. Currently, just 1/10th of 1 percent of apps control the entire App Store market, leaving the rest of the 1.2 million apps virtually unknown.
According to data from Fiksu, it currently costs app marketers $1.24 to get users to download and install an application on iOS, and $1.31 on Android. Those numbers don’t directly correlate to Amazon’s Appstore, but they give you the general idea of the costs involved in this industry.
When Microsoft needed to convince developers to build mobile apps for its Windows Phone 8 platform, it took a familiar path: it offered them money to do so. Amazon, however, is going a different route – at least, for now. Instead of outright paying developers to update their apps to work with its newly launched smartphone, the Fire Phone, Amazon is offering up to $15,000 in “Amazon Coins” which developers can give away to their users.
The idea here is that in today’s crowded app marketplace, acquiring new users and keeping current users engaged can be very expensive.
"If the Amazon phone is compelling enough and priced attractively enough to start building up a significant user base, you’ll quickly see developers including Amazon versions of their apps right behind iOS and Google Play versions," said Craig Palli, CSO of Fiksu.
Amazon yesterday became the first ecommerce player to introduce its own smartphone: Fire.
What sets fire apart from other such devices are two new breakthrough technologies: Dynamic Perspective and Firefly. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way the user holds, views, and moves the device, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world – web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products — and let’s the user take action in seconds with the press of a button.
While Amazon’s store is only about a fifth of the size of its counterparts, “there’s a pretty good base for them to work with,” said Craig Palli, chief strategy officer for mobile app marketing platform Fiksu.
Amazon preluded its “big reveal” Wednesday (Fire phone) with a word to app developers: “We’re where you want to be.”
The company also struck a deal Wednesday with BlackBerry to offer the Amazon Appstore as a lifeline to BlackBerry’s fledgling of an apps ecosystem.
Amazon’s Appstore sits somewhere in the 240,000 app range, coming close to tripling its app and game count from a year ago. The e-commerce giant cited traction in the developer community, noting “improved reach, greater monetization, and oftentimes, higher revenue" for its app makers, said Mike George, VP of Amazon Appstore and games. The company revealed no dollar amounts.
"As the largest digital retailer in the world, they have access to an incredible volume of consumers, and with 240K apps in their app store already, there's a pretty good base for them to work from. While that's only a fifth of the size of Apple and Google's app stores, sheer volume of apps isn't the most important indicator of success," said Craig Palli, CSO at Fiksu.
With rumors rampant that Amazon will launch a smartphone on Wednesday, the ecommerce giant is touting that its AppStore offerings have tripled per annum, but Amazon faces an uphill battle attracting developers and displacing competitive devices.
“SessionM has been a great user acquisition channel for our clients, consistently delivering some of the highest lifetime value users amongst our channel partners,” Steve Bagdasarian, a VP at Fiksu, said in a statement. “We are excited to use their new self-service platform to automate the setup process, increase our buying efficiency, as well as leverage their data and insights to further improve our campaigns’ performance.”
Now you can buy users like you buy potatoes — and on sale, to boot.
The mobile user-acquisition wars just took a new turn: SessionM is launching a new self-serve market for buying users today. In addition, the company is announcing a new loyalty program that will enable SessionM developers to acquire users at, essentially, half price.
The cost of acquiring loyal users — those who open an app three times or more — increased by 5 percent, or seven cents, to $1.52, according to local mobile app marketing startup Fiksu.
Mobile app developers can now purchase "Power Users," and at a price Boston-based SessionM would argue is too powerful to pass up.
The mobile loyalty and monetization company announced Thursday the launch of a new self-service audience acquisition platform, called SessionM OnDemand. The goal is simple: Help mobile developers acquire high quality installs at, essentially, half price.
“For any app, Facebook should be part of your app marketing mix - it gives you great control and the ability to reach very specific audiences,” said Jim Thomas, product marketing manager, Fiksu, Boston.
Golfshot, a GPS-based course management, scoring and golf instruction application, leveraged Facebook to support a new freemium business model, resulting in more than one million downloads.
App developer Shotzoom had seen success with several golf-focused paid apps, but the introduction of its free-to-download Golfshot app for iOS and Android presented a new challenge, and it needed to develop a profitable mobile marketing strategy for thenew business model.
“This is in contrast to many bigger brand spenders who are often more focused on overall volumes and lower costs per acquisition,” the company stated in an analysis posted Friday.
App marketing costs rose in April after a two-month decline as mobile app developers paid up to acquire new users, according to the latest monthly report by mobile marketing firm Fiksu.
The company said that a surge of spending by big brands in March dropped off last month, underscoring the higher costs paid by smaller apps and games to attract “high-value” users in campaigns.
“April was an example of marketers with apps in the lower ranks getting visibility for their marketing spend as the big brands dialed back on spending before gearing up for their summer campaigns,” said Fiksu CEO Micah Adler in a statement.
Oh, the agony of mobile marketing costs. App marketing costs rose in April as mobile app developers poured more money into acquiring new users on mobile devices, according to a report by mobile marketing firm Fiksu.
That will lead to more fretting over the rising cost of user acquisition, which takes its toll on free-to-play game and app developers because marketing costs are outstripping app revenues. But if you look at the chart below, you’ll see that mobile app costs are bouncing all over the place. The general trend is up, but there are some slower months where the marketing costs can drop.