App Downloads and Install Costs Both Down in November

David Murphy

Fiksu Micah Adler

Adler: "Brands should continue putting effective user acquisition at the forefront"

November saw mobile app advertising metrics ease off slightly, with declines in both app download volume and install costs as marketers prepared for the largest mobile Christmas to date.

The Fiksu Indexes, published today by Fiksu, are indicative of usual seasonal behaviour leading up to an intense holiday season. The unprecedented ongoing growth in volume through most of the year, combined with overall app marketing costs that are double what they were last year, created an environment that led to a small month-over-month decline. This demonstrates the typical self-regulating shift in the app marketing landscape as growth remains strong at a large scale, but course corrects with small dips month-over-month throughout the year, as happened in November.

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index, representing the combined daily downloads of the top 200 free iOS apps, declined to 7.3m downloads, a decline of 8 per cent from October. In addition to the small decrease in app marketing activity, behind-the-scenes turbulence in Apple’s App Store – a result of search changes, the new Shopping category, and Apple ranking its own apps – could also have impacted the overall download volume, Fiksu notes.

On the cost front, the Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU) Index was down 11 per cent from October, but 125 per cent up on last year. Whether this is a result of advertisers pulling back on budgets before a big Christmas push or being more wary of the typical premiums put on holiday ad spend will be clearer as we get through the end of the year.

The Cost Per Install (CPI) Index, measuring the cost per install directly attributed to advertising, declined 10 per cent to $1.54 on iOS, but was still up 40 per cent year-on-year. On Android, CPI dropped 6 per cent since last month but increased 101 per cent over last year, marking the fourth month in a row that Android CPI more than doubled last year’s figures.

“While this month showed slight relief from rising costs for app marketers, we expect costs to rebound as the holiday season shifts into full swing, said Fiksu CEO, Micah Adler. “This means brands should continue putting effective user acquisition at the forefront. Targeting and optimization is even more critical as marketers aim to reach more of the right, loyal users.”

You can see the full November analysis here.