From MWC: App Downloads Climb in January, While Mobile Marketing Costs Dip

News from this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where we just released our January Indexes, which revealed increased mobile app download volumes, but a decline in user acquisition costs. The new data reflects the continued impact of all the new tablets and smartphones activated during the holidays, illustrating a steadier and more cost-effective landscape for mobile advertisers.

Historically, the new year is an attractive and cost-efficient time for app marketers to acquire new loyal users. We saw no exception in January, with the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index dropping 11 cents to $1.56, from December’s $1.67. But savvy marketers who held back on December’s mobile advertising spending in order to find a January bargain may have been disappointed that the drop was not nearly as dramatic as in January 2012, when costs plunged nearly 40% from December.

Meanwhile, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index continued climbing, reaching 6.01 million daily downloads in January, up 13 percent from December’s 5.32 million. With record device activations on Christmas Day 2012, user activity and app discovery soared in the days and weeks following the holiday – and this carried well into 2013.  

The January Indexes are early indicators of the “mainstreaming of mobile advertising,” with marketers placing a focus on value over volume as they strategically plan for the year ahead – spreading their budgets to maximize impact. For 2013, we expect brands to not only allocate more dedicated spending to mobile advertising, but to also get even savvier about aligning seasonal spending to the ebbs and flows of user acquisition costs.

Thanks to all the publications for covering our January Indexes: AppNewser, Inside Mobile Apps, MediaPost, and Mobile Entertainment.

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