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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 SaccoSeptember 18, 2013
With the launch of iOS 7 today and the two new iPhones on Friday, there's been plenty of speculation about what's going to happen. Well, sometime today - probably around 10am Pacific time - the speculators can start to see how well they did. To help anyone who wants to see how users are reacting to the iOS 7 release, we've created an iOS 7 Usage Tracker.
It's a live-updating tracker of activity across the Fiksu network, about 2 hours behind real time, showing the ratio of iOS 6 to iOS 7 devices we're seeing. (We're not including older version of iOS because we're using Apple's Advertising Identifier to track devices, which isn't available on older versions of iOS. But those older versions are only on around 5% to 8% of total devices.)
When the new version is available - probably around 1pm here on the east coast - we expect a surge of early adopters to start updating. Factor in the 2 hour delay and some time for the updates to actually happen and we expect to start seeing that iOS 7 line inching up around 4 or 5 pm EDT.
We'll add a similar graph for the iPhone 5s and 5c before they launch on Friday. Happy launch day - now go check out the tracker.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoSeptember 6, 2013
The months and weeks of speculations are almost over as we count down the days to the much-anticipated Apple event on Tuesday at which the iPhone 5S, iOS7, and potentially a low-cost iPhone 5C will be publicly unveiled.
For app marketers, a new device launch – especially an iPhone launch – spells great opportunity to acquire new users in droves. As in years past, we can expect throngs of people to quite literally camp-out and line-up to buy the latest phone as soon as it hits the shelves. There will be the initial rush of people upgrading to the new iPhone from older iPhone models, in addition to others using the launch as an excuse to change over from their Android, Blackberry or Windows phone to the popular iPhone.
But before you rush out and blow through your entire marketing budget in September, there are some important things to consider. Here at Fiksu, we’ve been charting the volume of app downloads during the last two iPhone launches as well as the associated cost per installs.
We concluded that, as you can see from the two charts below, the “sweet spot’ for mobile app marketing is NOT during the iPhone launch month but actually the month after when download volumes are at a crescendo but costs per install are at their lowest.
Cast your mind back two years to the launch of the iPhone 4S in October 2011. We examined the app download volumes of our clients for the month before the 4S launch, in October, and through to November. We found that app download volumes increased by a huge 57 percent from September to October, and then by another 107 percent from October to November – remarkable growth!
Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone 5 in September 2012. When examining download volumes, we saw a different pattern. Volumes remained steady through September and October, but then shot up in November by 46 percent. That’s a 94 percent year-on-year increase in download volumes, when comparing November 2011 to November 2012.
Now let’s look at how cost per installs compared between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 launches. With the 4S launch, we saw costs steadily drop 11 cents from September to November. One year later when the iPhone 5 launched, cost per install actually rose the month following the launch, and then plummeted.
So what does this all mean when considering the imminent iPhone 5S launch?
- It pays to be patient: Rather than focusing all your app marketing budget on launch month, waiting six to eight weeks could net you greater download volumes for less spend.
- Implement a holiday strategy: If November is indeed the app marketer’s “sweet spot,” then there is only a brief reprieve before the holiday season kicks into high gear. The good news is that the iPhone launch “phenomenon” mirrors the holiday season when our data shows that the “sweet spot” for downloads and low costs per install is actually February, rather than December.
- The rules have changed and the stakes are ever higher: Now that Apple has started to reward positive ratings with rank – and vice versa – marketers cannot rely on download velocity alone to climb rank. Marketers must now work harder – and inevitably pay more – to earn positive ratings from users, climb ranks, drive downloads and cap off 2013 meeting their monetization goals.
So as the world waits in anticipation for Apple’s latest device, and rumors swirl around colorful new options, LED cameras and fingerprint sensors, sit tight and ride out these next few weeks. We promise it will be worth the wait!
Posted by: Viki ZabalaNovember 14, 2012
- Even though Thanksgiving and Black Friday are next week, the holiday shopping frenzy is already in full force – and there’s no doubt consumers will turn to their tablets and mobile phones to shop.
- Speaking of tablets, one analyst believes the iPad Mini will generate “more demand than it cannibalizes.”
- While the iPhone 5 has been on the shelves for just two short months, Apple is reportedly already starting production for its next generation of the smartphone – the iPhone 5S.
‘Tis the season to use tablets and smartphones to shop. According to a survey of 550 consumers about their expected shopping channels this holiday season, 44 percent of online shoppers anticipate making a purchase on a tablet, and 41 percent say they would use mobile for shopping. Thirty-two percent of mobile and tablet users believe they will make a “big-ticket” purchase on these channels this holiday. “Overall, mobile platforms are the fastest-growing channels for making purchases,” writes Steve Smith for MediaPost.
Apple’s new “iPad Mini creates more demand than it cannibalizes,” says Cowen and Co. analyst Matthew Hoffman, because it will most likely attract entry-level tablet buyers, reported AllThingsD. The analyst firm recently conducted a study of 1,225 U.S. adults about their tablet-buying preferences and found that 12 percent said they would buy an iPad Mini in the next 18 months. Most interesting is that more than 50 percent of those who plan to purchase the iPad Mini are first-time buyers – something app developers and marketers should keep in mind.
While Apple only debuted the iPhone 5 in September, the technology powerhouse is already speculated to start trial productions for its next iPhone – the iPhone 5S – in December. According to Business Insider, which sources a Chinese business newspaper, the iPhone 5S is expected to hit full production in the first quarter of 2013, hinting at a possible spring release. There are also reports that Apple is developing a new iPad – also for the first quarter – that could be the iPad Mini featuring a retina screen. As with all Apple products, time will tell.