- Products & Technology
- Case Studies
- Contact Us
- Get Started
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 29, 2013
The relentless growth of mobile has been an incredible story for a long time, and here at Fiksu, we've been tracking it. Our monthly Fiksu Indexes have been tracking the volume of downloads and the cost per loyal user every month for two and a half years, and they reflect this growth.
But the monthly indexes tend to focus on the short-term trends. So we've compiled the indexes since the beginning of 2012 to give you a 21 month snapshot as we head into what's sure to be another whirlwind holiday season.
Embed this graphic on your site - 400 pixels wide
<div><a href="http://www.fiksu.com/infographic-charting-21-months-app-marketing"><img src="http://www.fiksu.com/images/fiksu-mobile-app-discovery-400" alt="Charting 21 months of app marketing"></a></div>
Embed this graphic on your site - 650px wide
<div><a href="http://www.fiksu.com/infographic-charting-21-months-app-marketing"><img src="http://www.fiksu.com/images/fiksu-mobile-app-discovery-650.jpg" alt="Charting 21 months of app marketing"></a></div>
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 SaccoSeptember 12, 2013
August has been a pretty slow month for mobile app marketing in recent years, but this year went a different direction. Not only did our July indexes reach impressive heights, but Apple also introduced a new wrinkle to its ranking algorithm all while gearing up for its annual launch of new eye-catching gadgets. So much excitement, that we almost missed the coveted Index post!
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User index reached a high of $1.80 in July – up from June’s $1.50. This is the highest the CPL has ever been since December 2011, when marketers spent heavily to drive up app store rankings before the traditional App Store freeze. Fiksu’s App Store Competitive Index also saw an uptick of four percent to 5.8 million daily downloads in July.
These fluctuations reflect several factors: Apple's recent incorporation of app ratings into its App Store Top Charts ranking algorithm, the growing number of brands leveraging Facebook's mobile app install ads, and increased mobile app activity during the dog days of summer.
With Apple’s ranking algorithm change, which appears to favor highly-rated apps and penalizing others, app marketers must now work even harder to generate positive ratings from engaged users, since user acquisition costs for apps without stellar ratings will now be more expensive. We also saw competition creeping up in July as advertisers began ramping up campaigns in the months leading up to the new iPhone launches. This was particularly evident with games publishers, as they vied for the attention of countless students who turned to playing games to fill their free time during the hot summer days.
Thanks to all who covered this month’s indexes, including: AdExchanger, App Developer Magazine, FierceMobileContent, Inc. Magazine, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobile World Live, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat!
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: Jeremy SaccoJuly 1, 2013
Mobile marketers have quickly realized the reach of Facebook’s mobile app install ad units and their ability to cost-efficiently drive volumes of users — and the latest Fiksu Indexes certainly reflect this trend.
Our May App Store Competitive Index numbers came in as the second highest month in 2013 to-date at 5.9 million downloads, trailing January with the highest volume at 6.1 million (the result of the holiday effect). In fact, compared to May 2012, we can see that downloads have increased 31 percent year-over-year – a result of the Facebook effect as well as the continued movement of big brands into the mobile app space.
As for our Cost per Loyal User Index, the May Index decreased by 11 percent, or 17 cents, to $1.33, from April’s $1.50.
As predicted last month, the increase in traffic in May can also be attributed in-part to the end of UDID tracking capabilities by the Apple App store on May 1 as well as Apple's new IDFA. This change caused many marketers to wait for the dust to settle on the new, standardized solution to resume regular marketing activities. Now that the IDFA is the clear standard for iOS marketing attribution, app marketers have returned and are spending again.
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 ZabalaMay 1, 2013
It’s been a memorable day for Fiksu, as we reached another notable milestone! As of April 30, 2013 – two years since our launch – the Fiksu Mobile App Marketing Platform has recorded its one hundred billionth app user action and has driven more than one billion app downloads. This data is critical to our ability to drive real-time mobile ad campaign optimization and deliver the high-performance marketing results that leading brands demand. It’s also the foundation of the Fiksu Indexes and our insights into the complex app marketing landscape.
In analyzing this month’s Index data, we found that the volume of daily downloads of the top 200 free iPhone apps and mobile app marketing costs remained steady in March – extending from February’s calm and consistent, yet valuable landscape.
We saw the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index increase by five percent, or seven cents, to $1.36, from February’s $1.29.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index dipped four percent, to 5.02 million daily downloads in March from February’s 5.20 million. Notably, this represents a 12 percent year-over-year increase from March 2012.
March’s “new normal” was good news for mobile app marketers. Inventory has increased but costs have held steady, reflecting a maturity in the overall quality of apps and their ability to engage users.
Beginning of the End for UDIDs
Despite the last few months of relative stability, marketers should always be prepared for the ebbs and flows within the app ecosystem. In fact, today is a notable day in that Apple’s recent announcement goes into effect: apps that access UDIDs will no longer be approved for the App Store. While apps that are already approved can continue to access the UDIDs for the time being, the majority of that traffic is shifting to the Advertising Identifier. The change comes as no surprise to app publishers who follow the industry, but it's still a significant step in the ongoing evolution of app marketing.
We've also seen Apple evolving its stance on apps used to promote other apps, and there have been some indications that the MAC address -- which has similar privacy concerns to the UDID, but has received much less attention -- could be the next tracking option to face Apple's scrutiny. We can expect the impact of these and other factors to start revealing themselves in next month’s April Index data and beyond.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaMarch 28, 2013
Though heightened user activity and app discovery continued well beyond the 2012 holidays and into the new year, our latest Indexes reveal that the pace tapered off as we entered February, giving way to a calmer, steadier month.
In February, our Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index showed a continued downward slope, decreasing to $1.29, down 17 percent, or 27 cents, from January’s $1.56. February presented a relative bargain period for mobile marketers who held back on holiday advertising, preferring instead to spread out their spending across several months to maximize impact.
Meanwhile, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index illustrated a decrease of 13 percent, or 810,000 downloads each day, to 5.20 million daily downloads, from January’s 6.01 million.
On the heels of a record-shattering holiday season, where marketers saw surging app marketing costs, February presented a more consistent, normalized, and valuable landscape for mobile app marketers. In the absence of major events or device launches during the month, our February Indexes provided early indications of what we can expect the “new normal” to be for marketers this year. That’s until the next big splash event, of course, which will most likely drive up acquisition and competition costs.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJanuary 30, 2013
The 2012 holidays marked a turning point for mobile marketing, with significant growth in mobile devices, app downloads, and shopping conducted via smartphones and tablets. On Christmas Day, 17.4 million iOS and Android devices and tablets were unwrapped and activated – breaking the 2011 record by more than 2.5x. So it’s no surprise that we saw a spike in app downloads in December.
The December Fiksu App Store Competitive Index increased to 5.32 million daily downloads in December, up 16 percent from November’s 4.57 million. As expected, competition around the holiday increased, though not as dramatically as it did during 2011. Part of this is likely due to the absence of robotic install tactics that were still being employed during the previous holiday season. Volume also fell slightly short of the massive October peak caused by the introduction of the iPhone 5.
Meanwhile, the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index jumped 21 percent, or 29 cents, to $1.67, from November’s $1.38. While costs continued to climb from November to December, as expected, the 2012 holiday season presented a steadier, more cost-effective landscape than the 2011 season, as marketers implemented best practices they’d learned and tested throughout the year.
Mobile app marketers are a year older and wiser, and we saw this reflected in the December Indexes. Unlike the spending frenzy we saw in 2011, many opted for a value-versus-volume approach in 2012, collectively applying a more conservative, sophisticated strategy to their Q4 campaigns and largely avoiding big gambles on a long App Store freeze. This value-based approach also led to a “long-tail” effect, where more marketing dollars were spent on apps outside of the top 200 that are tracked in our index. Read more in our analysis here.
A big thank you to all the publications for covering our December Indexes: Appnewser, BizReport, Inside Mobile Apps, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, PocketGamer.biz and VentureBeat.