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iOS App Downloads Up 42% to All-time High

News by Luke Jones on Monday November 24, 2014.

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App marketing firm Fiksu has revealed its latest data regarding app downloads through October and found that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus along with iOS 8 accounted for a huge jump in downloads to an all-time high. The new reports shows that there has been a 42% increase from September for the top 200 free iOS apps that the company tracked through October. Those applications accounted for 7.8 million downloads, a 39% increase from this time last year.

While recent indexes have shown a steady stream of escalating costs, the October index numbers validate another important trend: the increasing importance of apps to consumers," said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu. "Mobile marketers must start thinking strategically about their marketing tactics over the longer term and figure out how to use apps to connect with customers. October's hindsight should serve as a guide for marketers preparing for impending holiday activity.

Fiksu suggests that this all-time high was because of "a result of the tendency of app users to quickly re-download their 'vital apps' during upgrades." The first app anyone would download for a new handset would be one they always use, and many of those take a place in the top 200. However, the company says the cost of launching an app and acquiring loyal users is still high, something the independent or small developer should note. The Cost per Launch (CPL) Index and Cost per Install (CPI) for iOS both rose for the iOS platform.

The Cost per Launch is up by 33% over the same time last year, the Index tracks such things as the cost of acquiring mobile users. In the report it seems that for iOS the cost rose to $0.26, up 24% from October and a year on year increase of 39%. The CPI also rose 21% from last month to $1.46, a massive 59% rise on October of 2013.

Fiksu's Analysis: October 2014

While recent indexes have shown steadily increasing costs, October presented an unexpected surge of another sort: volume. The full impact of Apple's iPhone and iOS launches were felt this month as Fiksu's Competitive Index, measuring the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 ranked iOS apps, surged 42 percent in October to 7.8 million daily downloads. Compared to September's 5.5 million daily downloads (and the slightly lower 5.3 million in August), October was a record-high month, a trend that is only expected to continue into the holidays.

As expected, competition was high among marketers this month, driving CPIs up on both iOS and Android. iOS Cost Per Install (CPI) demonstrated the most substantial jump, increasing 21 percent from September to $1.46, for a 59 percent rise year-over-year. Android CPI also increased slightly to $1.10, representing a 1 percent increase from September, and 2 percent increase year-over-year. The trend of advertising dollars flowing into mobile, and therefore increased competition, is expected to continue through the New Year.

An important lesson this month for marketers is the value of nurturing user loyalty prior to device launches and gift-giving seasons. Despite the marked rise in advertising costs particularly on iOS, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU) indicated a slight decline in October to $2.16 from September?s $2.25. This decrease is a result of the tendency of app users to quickly re-download their most-used "vital" apps during upgrades. The first set of apps users download on their new iPhone 6s are likely to be those they can't live without, which makes them much more likely to become loyal users of those apps.

In the coming months, marketers should also look to capitalize on untapped Android opportunities. While the Cost per Launch (CPL) Index, which tracks the costs of driving engagement from mobile users, showed increases across the board on iOS, October saw a 26 percent year-over-year drop in Android CPL. Combined with the slighter increases on Android's October CPI numbers, this may be a good place for marketers to spend advertising dollars as iOS costs only continue to rise.

In the interest of more accurately representing how the incentivized traffic impacts the Cost per Install and Cost per Launch metrics, Fiksu has updated the formulas used to calculate those indexes. As a result some previous months? data has been adjusted to reflect that new formula.

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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