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Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJanuary 30, 2014
The App Store was buzzing during the holidays and Fiksu’s December Index data not only reflected the frenzy of excited users with new devices, but also showed the maturation of mobile app marketers.
The December Fiksu App Store Competitive Index jumped by 12 percent to 6.4 million daily downloads over November’s 5.7 million – a 20 percent increase year-over-year, compared to December 2012. In December, new iPhone owners flooded the App Store around the holiday season downloading the essential apps for their new gadgets (as seen on our device usage tracker).
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index saw a slight dip in December, down four cents to $1.75 from November’s $1.79 – this represents a five percent increase in costs year-over-year. Contrary to previous years when mobile app marketing costs peaked in December, two factors caused the current decline.
First, holiday-enthused app users on new devices are more likely to become loyal users, as the first wave of apps they download are most often the apps they care about most. (The early bird catches the worm, perhaps?).
Second, this decline shows us that app marketers are getting smarter and spending their marketing budgets more wisely. Rather than trying to go “all in” during what has previously been the most expensive time of the year, they spread their marketing budgets across the entire season, engaging with users from Cyber Monday all the way through Christmas Day and on into the New Year. Also, smart marketers are increasingly focusing their ad spend on traffic sources that return the best long term value for their money. Furthermore, taking advantage of new technologies like programmatic real-time media buying further helped them drive down costs and benefit from the increase in App Store traffic.
These numbers are an indication that the mobile market and today’s app marketing strategies are starting to evolve in a more linear fashion, evening out the peaks and troughs we’ve been used to seeing around the holidays.
“We’re reaching a maturation point in the app market as marketers get ever-smarter about how they use their marketing budgets,” said Micah Adler, CEO and founder, Fiksu. “Acquiring users is not the be-all-end-all for today’s savvy marketer. Reengaging with users over time and solidifying user loyalty is the ultimate goal, and this month’s indexes indicate the early adoption of this strategy.”
More analysis of the indexes can be found here.
To date, Fiksu has accumulated more than 207 billion app actions including launches, registrations, and in-app purchases, as well as massive amounts of data from real-time bidding requests and mobile advertising networks. Additionally, our team has also driven more than 2 billion app downloads for its customers.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoNovember 26, 2013
The month of October brought saw new users of iPhone 5s and 5c phones flooding into the market and eagerly downloading new apps, keeping volumes up. However, the increase in advertising activity as some marketers rushed to get in front of this new audience, coupled with consumers’ tendency to be particularly loyal to the first wave of apps they download on a new device, helped keep costs stable throughout the month.
In October, we watched the Cost per Loyal User Index decrease by three percent to $1.63 – representing a 54 percent increase in costs year-over-year. That increase may seem inflated due to October 2012 seeing a historic low in cost per loyal user. That month, on the heels of the iPhone 5’s availability, organic searches spiked as users took to the App Store searching for new apps to download on their new devices. This heighted period of natural discovery caused the cost to acquire and engage loyal users to plummet. In contrast, costs remained relatively steady post-iPhone 5s and 5c launch in 2013, likely in part due to advertisers' increasing understanding of the value of these new users -- and their resulting willingness to spend more to acquire them.
The App Store Competitive Index dipped two percent to 5.6 million daily downloads in October. Due to a massive spike in download volume occurring during this time period last year around the iPhone 5 launch, this is the first time in five months that Fiksu observed less than 20 percent year-over-year growth in download volumes. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out Fiksu’s “Analyzing 21 Months of Mobile App Discovery” study that gives a comprehensive look-back at app store competition and growth over the past two years.
We also observed some marketers holding back in October, limiting their spending while they planned for larger splash campaigns timed around the fast-approaching holiday season. We expect activity to ramp up considerably in the coming months as many large brands and games pour money into the ecosystem around the holiday peak -- and judging by the frantic activity in our client management team, it's already underway.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoOctober 2, 2013
The August Index was one for the record books, with the Cost per Loyal User index hitting an all-time high of $1.90 – a six percent, or ten cent, increase from July’s $1.80. Driving this increase were two main factors:
First, we continue to see the effects of big brands saturating the market to cost-effectively acquire loyal users. Bigger brands are ready and willing to pay more for the valuable users, like those on Facebook, ultimately driving up this competitive cost. They also may be starting to realize that mobile is an undervalued media channel and increasing their willingness to invest in it.
Second, marketers are looking ahead and starting to make headway with holiday planning. Many are applying their Q3 budgets to test different mobile marketing strategies before the big rush in Q4 when costs will likely rise further, as seen in previous years. Now, more than ever, is the time for mobile marketers to hone their campaign strategies before the real competition starts.
While a two percent bump to 5.9 million daily downloads is a small change month over month, it does represent a 46 percent year-over-year increase from August 2012, underscoring the explosion of app usage.
Check back next month to see how the much the iOS7 and iPhone 5s/5c launches affect the Index for September! But in the mean-time, tune in to our device and OS adoption tracker to see how they’re taking off.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJuly 31, 2013
“Come on in, the water’s fine…”
As Facebook continues to rock the news world, our June Index data is also feeling the love from the social networking giant.
Brands are beginning to catch on to the power of Facebook’s mobile app installs ads to drive large volumes of quality users at incredibly low CPIs. The impact of this growing demand was most vividly evident in the 13 percent increase we witnessed in our Cost per Loyal User Index this month, up $.17 to $1.55.
What does this mean moving forward?
The reality is that as brands, large and small, ramp up their spending on Facebook, app marketing costs and competition will continue to heat up. This means the best time to participate in Facebook mobile install ads is now.
But if we take a step back and examine this month’s Indexes against June 2012, the year-over-year cost to acquire loyal users has increased by only four percent, indicating maturation in app marketing compared to a year ago as marketers’ abilities to leverage timing, targeting and optimization are in full effect. This also shows the consistent seasonality of app marketing costs, as the increase from May to June last year was just over 14 percent, almost exactly consistent with this year.
As for the App Store Competitive Index, the five percent drop signals the "summer doldrums" have set in as people tend to consume fewer new apps than during other times of the year.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJune 3, 2013
Following a steady couple of months, April saw competition – and costs - heating up for mobile app marketers. The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index reached $1.50, an increase of 10 percent, or 14 cents over March’s $1.36, while the App Store Competitive Index rose 11 percent, to 5.61 million daily downloads from 5.02 million in March.
After analyzing the data, it was clear to us that three distinct forces contributed to these dynamics in April:
- First, the relentless industry investment in mobile by brands large and small that kept competition high throughout the month.
- Second, the industry’s smooth transition from Apple’s UDID to its new Advertising Identifier (IDFA) actually kept traffic stable when it could have caused some disruption.
- And third, the increasing traction of Facebook mobile app install ads, which may have provided developers with a greater pool of efficient inventory and likely buffered the industry against even greater rises in costs.
Interestingly, the end of UDID and the transition to Apple's new IDFA prompted many high-visibility, valuable app publishers, such as Pandora, to enter the marketplace, bumping up available premium inventory for advertisers. These kinds of publishers previously didn’t offer attributable ad inventory due to concerns about earlier identifiers, but the advertising-friendly IDFA has changed their minds. We’ll continue to watch this trend and report back in our May Indexes.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaApril 30, 2012
Our latest Fiksu Indexes are out – revealing a sharp drop in iPhone app downloads during the month of March. This dramatic decline returned app store competition to levels similar to those before the iPhone 4S launch last October.
Here’s a snapshot of the latest data:
- The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index (which measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps) dropped by almost two million daily downloads to 4.45 million daily downloads, down from 6.35 million in February.
- The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index was the steadiest observed, dropping by less than 1 percent in March to $1.30, from $1.31 in February.
The trajectory the Fiksu Indexes has followed from October 2011 through to March 2012 reflects the hyper-demand for apps following the much- anticipated launch of the new iPhone and into the advertising frenzy of holiday season. As we moved out of this period of increased download activity and marketing spend, and with no other significant events in March to spark discovery, last month’s download dip was to be expected.
However, an unexpected contributing factor to March's app download plunge could be a move away from the use of robotic install tactics by app marketers responding to Apple’s new policy.
Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch writes, “[Apple’s] crackdown has had huge implications for the types of apps that make it to the top of the charts. If you watched the charts like I did for well over a year, it was pretty common to see really strange, esoteric (and frankly, not very well-made) apps pop on the charts every single week. At the same time, very social, more utility-like apps like Instagram or Facebook would hover in the teens or twenties — or between #50 and 100.”
Cutler continues, saying, “The decline of download bots has made room for apps like Viddy, Socialcam, Instagram and Draw Something to move higher on the charts. Plus, because of the way the Apple app store is designed, once an app breaks above #25 or #10, it gets a huge increase in downloads per day.”
Despite the significant decline in downloads, our Indexes reflected a steady spending pattern among mobile marketers with costs maintaining a reasonable level. This presented marketers with valuable opportunities for cost-effectively converting organic users into loyal users.