Benchmarking app store competitiveness & the cost of mobile app marketing
App Store Competitive Index
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. In March, the Index decreased by almost two million daily downloads - a 30 percent drop - to 4.45 million, down from 6.35 million in February.
Cost per Loyal User Index
The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purposes of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In March, the cost per loyal user held steady, moving less than 1 percent to $1.30, from $1.31 in February.
March's dramatic decline in iPhone app downloads returned app store competition to levels similar to those before the iPhone 4S launch last October. The trajectory the Fiksu Indexes followed from October 2011 through to March 2012 reflects the hyper-demand for apps following the new device launch and into the holiday season. As we moved out of this period of increased download activity, and with no other events in March to spark discovery, the March download dip was expected.
Another unexpected contributing factor to March's app download plunge could be a move away from the use of robotic install tactics by app marketers responding to Apple's new policy.
As traffic dropped and competition for ranking eased in March, our Indexes reflected a steady spending pattern among mobile marketers with costs maintaining a reasonable level. This presented marketers with valuable opportunities for cost-effectively converting organic users into loyal users.