Fiksu: Cost of getting loyal app users rises 5%

Launching an app, getting consumers to install an app, keeping app users around--it's all gotten even more expensive, according to Fiksu. The mobile marketing firm recently released its latest series of indexes, which benchmark various aspects of the app industry based on more than 270 billion app actions, such as launches or registrations.

  • In April, the cost of launching an Android app jumped 30 percent to $0.13--a 16 percent increase year-over-year; for iOS, it increased 20 percent to $0.21--a 19 percent increase year-over-year. 
  • The cost per install (via ads) for iOS apps increased 28 percent to $1.24--a 35 percent increase year-over-year. Android's CPI also increased in April, up 21 percent to $1.31--a 30 percent increase year-over-year.
  • The aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. saw a 25 percent decrease to 5.34 million daily downloads--down 5 percent year-over-year.
  • The cost of acquiring a loyal user by firms that actively market their apps increased 5 percent, or 7 cents, to $1.52. 

The cost per install (CPI) index measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising.

"Developers are continually improving the quality of their apps and app features and, as this happens, the spread of competition becomes much wider," the report says. "Smaller publishers tend to emphasize high-value users in their user acquisition campaigns. This leads to higher initial acquisition costs, which are later offset by better lifetime value (LTV) metrics. This is in contrast to many big brand spenders who are often more focused on overall volumes and lower costs per acquisition."

Oddly enough, Fiksu saw the increase in marketing costs from a more positive perspective. Much like gaps in the movie or album release calendar, the company suggested this was a period where those developers who sit outside the Top 200 lists in major app stores could use their marketing dollars to get more attention than they might this summer.

This also means that as major apps and mobile games from big publishers roll out over the next few months, indie devs won't be shouldering as much of the burden around costs that its indexes reflect. And if its analysis about how smaller publishers spent on getting loyal users is correct, they may soon start to seem much more competitive than their size suggests. 

For more:
- to see the Fiksu report, click here

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