This month’s app marketing costs, measured by our Cost Per Loyal User Index, broke the September’s record high of $4.14 – hitting $4.23 in December. That’s a 19 percent jump in costs from November, and a 101 percent increase in costs since last year at this time. App download volume also increased– as was expected during the holiday season – as users activated new devices and downloaded new apps. December downloads reached 8.5 million; a 16 percent rise since November.

App downloads and marketing costs fell slightly in November as the app marketing landscape settled slightly. Unprecedented volume and cost growth throughout the year created the environment for this month’s small month-over-month decline. Specifically, the App Store Competitive Index dropped to 7.3 million daily downloads, down eight percent from October. Meanwhile, the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index dropped 11 percent month-over-month, to $3.55. Loyalty costs maintained strong growth over 2014, however, with CPLU growing 125 percent since November 2014.

The new iPhones had a dramatic impact on app downloads in September—but not in the direction you might think. We saw a sharp decline in app download volume, down 21 percent to 6.4 million daily downloads, the lowest volume since last September. Seems like consumers anticipating an upgrade to one of the new iPhones at the end of the month cut back on their app downloads. It makes sense: why go looking for new apps when you know you're about to upgrade?

The month of August marked a watershed moment for the Fiksu Indexes, as the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) index surpassed $4 for the first time. That’s a 36 percent rise since July and a 117 percent increase since last year. 

As the proverb goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” and the same may be true for marketers in April. While this past month represented another expensive one for mobile, particularly on a year-over-year viewpoint, it also may prove to be very fruitful. As leading brands heightened their focus on strategic mobile spending and higher-value targeting, loyalty rates of app users (and the cost to acquire a loyal user) has improved slightly.

If you haven’t been convinced you need an app by now, maybe last week’s announcement of the Apple Watch will finally do it. If Adobe is right in its estimate that 10% of iPhone and iPad users will have an Apple Watch in the next 18 months, then that’s 25 million people who will only be able to engage with your brand through their smartwatch if you have an app.

The New Year is off to a strong start, as the January 2015 App Store Competitive Index surpassed the 10 million download mark for the first time ever, coming in at 10.3 million daily downloads compared to last month’s previous record high of 9.2 million. This represents a 12 percent growth month-over-month and a marked 61 percent leap since January 2014.

It’s hard to believe, but we’re seeing it again. For the third consecutive month, the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, soared again jumping to 9.2 million downloads in December. This marks a 14 percent increase since last month and an astounding 44 percent rise since last year at this time. October and November results (7.8 million and 8.1 million, respectively) had each been new records.

Between courses of turkey and pumpkin pie, iPhone users downloaded apps in droves this Thanksgiving holiday, according to our latest index report. This past month saw an astounding 8.1 million downloads of the top 200 free iOS apps, according to the App Store Competitive Index. Compared to last November, app download volumes have grown by a whopping 42 percent.

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.