Benchmarking app store competitiveness & the cost of mobile app marketing
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 August, the Index increased by two percent to 5.9 million daily downloads from July's 5.8 million.
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 August, the Index increased by six percent, or 10 cents, to $1.90 from July's $1.80.
Fiksu's Analysis: August 2013
August marks a record high for Fiksu's Cost per Loyal User index. Driving this increase are two main factors. First, we're seeing the effects of big brands saturating the market, spending ever-increasing budgets on mobile to cost-effectively acquire loyal users, including heavy spending on Facebook. Bigger brands are ready and willing to pay more for the valuable users that Facebook has to offer, ultimately driving up this competitive cost.
Second, marketers are looking ahead and starting to make headway with holiday planning. Many are applying their Q3 budgets to test different mobile marketing strategies before the big rush in Q4 when costs will likely rise further, as seen in previous years. Marketers, especially on the games side, are gauging how viable their apps are, how they're monetizing, and looking for areas to improve to make sure they have a refined product and plan in place come the holiday blast. Now, more than ever, is the time for mobile marketers to hone their campaign strategies before the real competition starts.
While a two percent bump to 5.9 million daily downloads is a small change month over month, it does represent a 46 percent year-over-year increase from August 2012, underscoring the explosion of app usage.