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. The CPLU Index dropped to $2.74 in April, an 11 percent decrease month-over-month but an 80 percent rise year-over-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. The Index held steady in April at 8.1 million daily downloads. This volume represents an increase of 52 percent over 2014.
The Cost per Install (CPI) Index measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising. In April, CPI for iOS rose to $2.13—a 39 percent increase since last month and 54 percent rise year-over-year. Android CPI also increased from $1.74 in March to $2.08 in April, a 20 percent rise month-over-month, and 59 percent over last year.
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 April, the Android CPL Index increased significantly from $0.24 to $0.34, rising 44 percent from March and 169 percent year-over-year. The iOS CPL Index also rose in April, up 34 percent over March to $0.41, and up 75 percent year-over-year.
Fiksu's Analysis: April 2015
Unprecedented year-over-year increases were observed this month, as all six supporting metrics of the indexes were up at least 50 percent over 2014, and four of the six were up from March. The cost per loyal user (CPLU), a metric that has been rising for months, was the only one to drop in April, coming in at $2.74. However, that's still a significant jump over last year, considering CPLU never rose above $2.25 in all of 2014—yet it hasn't fallen below $2.74 in 2015.
The shift of marketers buying in to the "mobile mindset" has been clearly demonstrated this month. While advertisers are spending more on mobile, the slight decrease in the cost per loyal user in April indicates advertisers are spending smarter, perhaps as a reaction to the generally higher costs. A few highlights in the supporting metrics of the index:
- The Cost Per Install Index (CPI), which measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising, increased to $2.13 on iOS, a rise of 39 percent since March and 54 percent since April of last year. Android CPI increased to $2.08, up 20 percent month-over-month and 59 percent year-over-year.
- The Cost Per Launch Index (CPL), which tracks the cost to drive mobile app engagement, increased to $0.41 on iOS, up 34 percent month-over-month and 75 percent year-over-year. Android CPL increased to $0.34, a 44 percent rise over last month and a 169 percent increase year-over-year.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, held steady in April at 8.1M daily downloads, but continued its upward trajectory year-over-year, coming in at 52 percent over 2014.
The main message for marketers this month: While April represented another expensive month for mobile, it's also an example of the heightened focus on strategic mobile spending by leading brands. As advertisers employ higher-value targeting and more precise audience segmentation data, the loyalty rates of app users will improve.
In the coming months, marketers and advertisers should aim to employ higher-value sources, such as Facebook and video ads, which cost more on a per-install basis but lead to higher-quality results. As demonstrated this month, the cost per install (CPI) and the cost to acquire a loyal user (CPLU) will move closer together as targeting capabilities continue to improve, and each install is more likely to become a loyal user. In addition, marketers should focus on retargeting as a way to retain users and convert them into loyal users.
For our full analysis of this month's Index data, visit https://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis. For the breakdown on what happened last month, check out the March Index.
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