As the largest independent source of mobile audience data, we’re excited to report that we’ve just eclipsed the 5 billion download mark. In case you’re wondering just how much 5 billion really is, it’s more than the combined population of all seven countries where we have offices around the globe. That includes the US, UK, Finland, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. 

There have been some rumblings recently that Apple made a change to how apps get featured within the App Store’s "Featured" tab. This came after Apple changed the names of the “New” and “What’s Hot” lists to “Best New Games” and “All Time Greats”, amongst others.

UPDATE: As of about 4:30pm ET, the App Store seems to be working again and Apple's Service page reports that it's running. Back to promoting those apps, everyone -- with an eye on the stability of the app store, just to be safe. Original post below.

The App Store is already buzzing this holiday season, with our latest index showing app downloads hit an all-time high in October. Tracking the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, the App Store Competitive Index reached 7.8 million downloads. This was an incredible 42 percent rise over last month, and a 39 percent increase over 2013. The release of the iPhone 6 and availability of iOS 8 undoubtedly led to this high volume of activity as users updated their new devices with their favorite apps.

This month’s Fiksu Index showed app marketing costs hit an all-time high.  Following the launches of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and Apple iOS 8 release, the cost for marketers to acquire loyal users (CPLU) reached $2.25. CPLU increased 21 percent from August, and 34 percent since September 2013. Taking a peek at the increasing costs to acquire loyal users over a two-year time period (2012-2014), we see an upward sloping trend line – demonstrating that marketers continue to face an environment of increasing costs and competitive forces.

August was a ‘lazy’ month for vacationers, app users, and for app marketers, demonstrated by lowered app install activity on both iOS and Android and lower marketing spends. The Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who actively market their apps, came in at $1.86, representing a 6 percent decrease from last month’s index.

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.

Following a steady couple of months, April saw competition – and costs - heating up for mobile app marketers. The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index reached $1.50, an increase of 10 percent, or 14 cents over March’s $1.36, while the App Store Competitive Index rose 11 percent, to 5.61 million daily downloads from 5.02 million in March.

After analyzing the data, it was clear to us that three distinct forces contributed to these dynamics in April:

  • Facebook reports that mobile use exceeded PC use for the first time ever in Q4 2012.
  • In just five short months since its release, Apple’s iOS 6 is now powering a whopping 300 million devices around the world.
  • As the app store giants continue to jostle for first place, Apple's App Store hits record revenue numbers while Google Play boasts faster growth.
  • During Q4 2012, Apple sold more smartphones than any other seller in the U.S. market, a first for the company.