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App store competitiveness heats up as marketers refine mobile app strategies, says Fiksu Index

App store competitiveness is heating up as a record 7.1 million daily downloads were notched up in March – up 41 per cent year on year, according to Fiksu’s latest Index.

Although the Index only reveals iOS traffic, eMarketer has predicted that Android and iOS are neck and neck in terms of growth rates for 2014, therefore experts have predicted “similar parallels” in terms of downloads.

Fiksu’s Cost per Launch Index also showed a drop for both Android and iOS, falling 5 per cent to $0.10 and 10 per cent to $0.17 respectively. The drops have been attributed to the “dramatic” increase in app usage, rather than a result of more devices in the market, along with the use of programmatic targeting, according to the report.

This steady growth in app usage means more downloads, more launches and more time spent in apps.

The Fiksu study also revealed that marketers are getting “smarter” about which ad formats and creative should be used for mobile audiences.

Click-through rates on iOS were the highest they've ever been in March - five times what they were just a year ago, and close to three times higher on Android, according to the Index, which attributed the rises to four factors: better targeting; better ad formats (app install, more video); better ads (mobile specific creatives); and better apps (more compelling to download/use).

Fiksu CEO Micah Adler said: “If we compare the 20 per cent year-over-year increase in Cost per Install in iOS to the 7 per cent year-over-year increase in Cost per Loyal User Index, we can see that marketers are getting smarter about leveraging the right ad formats, ad creatives and targeting tools to reach the right users. Otherwise, without these optimization and targeting capabilities, the CPLU Index would have likely seen an increase of 20 per cent year-over-year.

“The March Indexes tell us that while the market is only getting bigger each month, it has also grown volumes in terms of maturity.

“With the addition of programmatic and optimisation technologies, marketers have the tools to market their apps better and can do so without breaking the bank. As we’ve seen with major players like Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo! getting in the game, the industry has certainly come a long way in the last year, and what was once a challenge for app marketers is now an industry standard.”

Fiksu has tracked more than 252 billion app actions including launches, registrations and in-app purchases, as well as massive amounts of data from real-time bidding requests and mobile advertising networks.

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