August was a ‘lazy’ month for vacationers, app users, and for app marketers, demonstrated by lowered app install activity on both iOS and Android and lower marketing spends. The Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who actively market their apps, came in at $1.86, representing a 6 percent decrease from last month’s index.

Have you gone for a hike in the mountains this summer? Well, then you’re following in similar footsteps as app marketing costs – which have continued to climb in July’s Index. The Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps, came in at $1.97. This represents a 9 percent increase year-over-year and the second-highest peak in the four year-history of the Fiksu Indexes.

The indexes have made history this month, as the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index breached the $2 threshold for the first time in its four years. Attributed to a perfect storm of summer consumer behaviors, world events and Apple moves, June has ranked as the most expensive month ever for capturing and retaining loyal users.

While warmer weather is on the rise, so are app downloads and marketing costs in May – setting the stage for a competitive summer. App inflation has become the new normal for brands and app marketers, as the cost for acquiring loyal users climbs again.

The App Store Competitive Index for May, which measures the aggregate daily download volume among the top 200 ranked apps, grew by 24 percent to 6.6 million, compared to April’s 5.34 million. Meanwhile Fiksu’s Cost per Loyal User Index rose 17 percent to $1.78 in May and 34 percent year-over-year.

April “showered” marketers whose apps sit outside of the top 200 with a great opportunity to get increased visibility from their marketing spend as the big brands dialed back on spending before gearing up for their summer campaigns.

March was the month of market maturity for our Indexes, as app developers continue to improve the quality of offerings, advertisers adopt more powerful programmatic and optimization techniques, and device usage continues to skyrocket.

Our newly launched January Indexes revealed the aftermath of the 2013 holiday season, during which app marketers fought for the attention of the masses of eager new device owners.

The new Cost per App Launch Index was just $0.16 on both Android and iOS. Converging for the first time since February 2013, this rare occurrence is likely a post-holiday “correction” following the big brand budgets spent around the holidays, especially on Android.

Since Fiksu’s inception, our goal has been to help app developers and marketers find success in mobile and our strategy continues to evolve to reflect the inevitable changes in the mobile ecosystem and how they impacts your business. For nearly three years, we’ve published our monthly Indexes, the Cost per Loyal User Index and the App Store Competitive Index. Today, we’re giving you something new.

Last week, we released our December Indexes, which reflected the anticipated spike in downloads over the holiday season but also surprised us, with only a slight dip in app marketing costs.  What has traditionally been one of the most expensive periods for user acquisition, it appears, has actually become less costly for savvier marketers.

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.

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