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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 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 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 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.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJanuary 11, 2013
- The Apple App Store hits a new record – 40 billion downloads!
- Recent reports indicate that Apple’s iOS tops 50 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, up nearly 36 percent from last year, achieving the highest percentage of sales in the American market to date.
- Expect to see many more tablets in the workplace this year as the BYOD (bring your own device) trend adds more personal tabets to the business environment and companies seek to purchase these devices over computers.
- Mobile ad spending will increase 400 percent in the next four years, reaching a staggering $37 billion in 2016.
This week, Apple announced that consumers have downloaded more than 40 billion apps – with nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone. Today, the App Store has more than 500 million active accounts and had a record-breaking December with more than 2 billion downloads during the month. Apple’s developer community has created 775,000+ apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users worldwide. Also, developers have made $7 billion in revenue since the App Store launched in 2008. Tom Cheredar of VentureBeat has the details.
Data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech signals a milestone for iOS, as Apple’s operating system powered 53.3 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. from November 2011 to November 2012. Among U.S. iPhone sales, 34 percent of consumers upgraded from an earlier iPhone, and 40 percent acquired their first smartphone. The growth of iOS translated into market share declines for Android, down nearly 11 percent from last year, writes Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent.
Analysts from Piper Jaffray and Forrester predict greater adoption of tablets – especially the iPad – for businesses in 2013, reports Lance Whitney of CNET. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reveals recent survey results of CIOs, where 57 percent of them indicate plans to deploy tablets this year, compared with 46 percent last year. Additionally, corporate users utilizing their own tablets in the workplace are increasingly relying on apps to help manage their busy lives and day-to-day tasks, such as finding a taxi or hotel, following current events, or making payments.
Estimates from eMarketer indicate mobile ad spending will experience 400 percent growth during the next four years. These estimates incorporate display and search advertising and exclude message-based formats (such as SMS, MMS, and P2P). The major beneficiaries would include Google and Facebook, with gains by Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, writes Chuck Jones of Forbes. North America leads globally, with the average ad dollar spend per mobile user expected to reach $46 in 2016. eMarketer’s estimates include analysis of various elements, such as macro-level economic conditions, historical advertising trends, estimates from other research firms, and mobile usage trends.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaNovember 30, 2012
Following the iPhone 5 launch in September, October was a month of opportunity for mobile app marketers.
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index was $1.06, down seven cents or 6 percent, from September’s $1.13. Significant increases in organic searches and app discovery – driven by the arrival of the iPhone 5 and users’ natural enthusiasm for downloading apps on new devices – pushed costs down and created a huge opportunity for mobile app marketers to very cost-efficiently acquire loyal users in October.
Meanwhile, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index soared to 5.40 million daily downloads in October, a 33 percent increase from September. The Index painted a similar picture following the availability of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, when traffic also surged by a proportional 29 percent, and continues the surge we saw developing at the end of September.
Organic searches soared during the month, as users eagerly explored the App Store, enthusiastically searching for new apps to download on their new iPhones. So while cost for conversions were equal or higher during this time, the heighted period of organic, natural discovery drove down the cost to acquire and engage loyal users. Many savvy marketers wisely chose to ride this “organic wave,” improving user acquisition rates without substantially increasing their spending.
From the iPhone 5 launch, we noticed consumers appeared to be less frantic about updating their devices immediately, many choosing instead to wait several weeks to make the upgrade. Similarly, some seem to be taking more time to select and download new apps, instead of downloading many, all at once. This shift may lead to an even steadier, more sustained opportunity for mobile app marketers in the weeks – even months – following a major device launch.
With the 2012 holiday season underway, early data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday suggests that mobile commerce will have a giant impact on holiday sales – and that mobile apps will have a successful season overall. We’ll see how that plays out in our November Indexes.
A big thank you to all the publications for covering our October Indexes: AppNewser, BizReport, FierceMobileContent, Inside Mobile Apps, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, Telecom Lead, TUAW, VatorNews and VentureBeat.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaSeptember 28, 2012
Last week, Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 5 started hitting the shelves, selling a record-shattering 5 million units in its first weekend of availability. Additionally, more than 100 million existing iOS device owners have already rushed to update to iOS 6, Apple’s newest operating system. But, for several weeks preceding the arrival of the iPhone 5, we observed a change in consumers’ download appetites, reflected prominently in our new August Index numbers.
In August, the App Store Competitive Index dropped by 7.3 percent to 4.05 million daily downloads, down from 4.37 million in July. The Cost per Loyal User Index decreased by 20 cents in August (almost 13 percent) to $1.34, down from $1.54 in July.
“Rumors, leaks and hype surrounding the iPhone 5 seemed to be inescapable in August, and the pre-launch anticipation caused both iOS downloads and user acquisition costs to plunge during the month,” writes Kathleen De Vere of Inside Mobile Apps, as she examines the Fiksu Indexes.
Much like the weeks before the iPhone 4S launch in 2011, we observed that many consumers chose to wait for their new iPhone 5 devices rather than downloading new apps to their existing smartphones during August. Similarly, app marketers took the gas off their advertising spending during the month, awaiting the availability of iOS 6 in September and the chance to then promote updated apps. The combined effect made for a slow month overall.
We expect that next month’s Indexes will tell a very different story, now that the iPhone 5 and iOS are here. Be sure to check back next month to see how the September Indexes will reflect what we are calling “Christmas in September,” a time of rich opportunity for app marketers.