Benchmarking app store competitiveness & the cost of mobile app marketing
The Cost per App Launch Index, which tracks the cost of each repeat app launch over time, focuses on engagement and lifetime value of mobile users. In August, the Android CPL Index decreased to $0.09, a 23 percent decline over July and a 21 percent drop year-over-year. The iOS CPL Index increased 23 percent to $0.23, an increase of 49 percent year-over-year.
The Cost per Install (CPI) Index measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising. August saw the CPI for iOS decrease 5 percent to $1.16 – which is still a 40 percent increase year-over-year. Android's CPI lowered 31 percent to $.88, a 26 percent decrease over last year.
The App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. This Index showed a 15 percent decline to 5.3 million daily downloads in August from July's 6.2 million. In comparison with August 2013, this is a decrease of 10 percent year-over-year.
The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who actively market their apps. For the purposes of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In August, the CPLU Index dropped 6 percent from July to $1.86, a 2 percent year-over-year decrease.
Fiksu's Analysis: August 2014
As we noted in summer months of years past there is always a marked slowdown in August, with users on holiday and app marketers in a holding pattern awaiting the latest release of new Apple devices and latest version of iOS – and August 2014 stayed true to this pattern. We saw lowered app install activity for both Android and iOS users, lower marketing spends, and a drop in app marketing costs, with the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index at $1.86, down 6 percent month-over-month and 2 percent year-over-year.
The effect of reduced marketing efforts on mobile was most clear in the Android data, likely the result of decreased competition. The data indicates now is a great time for app marketers to shift their attention to opportunities on Android, as these lower costs will inevitably rise again in advance of the holidays.
On the other side of the coin, iOS CPL continued to climb, up 23 percent month-over-month and 49 percent year-over-year. CPI dipped in August, but was still up 40 percent year-over-year. This indicates marketers are spending less, which decreases CPIs, while users were less active with apps in August, causing CPLs to climb.
Fiksu's Competitive Index, which measures aggregate daily download volume among the top 200 ranked iOS apps, showed the clear impact of the pre- iOS 8 holding pattern with month-over-month volume dropping 15 percent while year-over-year volume saw a 10 percent deficit. As in years past, we expect this to rebound significantly in the months ahead as marketers first ramp up their spend to re-engage with and target users with new iPhones, and then as we approach the holiday season.
For the breakdown on what happened last month, check out the July Index.
How can the Fiksu Indexes help you?
Mobile marketing shouldn't require guesswork. Our award-winning Fiksu Programmatic Mobile Demand Platform injects predictability into your campaigns, removing complexity and guesswork and shifting the focus to where it belongs: performance.
We've accumulated more than 4.1 trillion marketing events including impressions analyzed, clicks, downloads, registrations, purchases and other loyal user events tracked across 1.7 billion devices – and use this data to help you better understand the fluctuating dynamics of the complex app marketing landscape through our monthly Fiksu Indexes.
Your app is competing for users with millions of others. The best way to improve your mobile marketing is to more precisely understand the competitive landscape you're pouring your budget into. The Fiksu Indexes reveal how industry dynamics – such as iOS upgrades, device launches, advertiser demand, ad network/publisher inventory, and seasonal activity – impact your business goals. Armed with this insight, you can adapt and plan with more agility.