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.

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.

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:

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!

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.

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.

  • 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.

 

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: AppNewserBizReportFierceMobileContentInside Mobile AppsMediaPostMobile EntertainmentMobile Marketing MagazineMobile Marketing WatchPocketGamerTechCrunchTelecom LeadTUAWVatorNews and VentureBeat

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.