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Loyal-user-acquisition costs up 21 percent on iOS in December

We’ve seen the evidence that December is a big month for mobile-game developers. All those new iOS and Android devices translate to millions of new downloads, but the crowded market also pushes up the cost of marketing apps to new customers.

Mobile-app marketing firm Fiksu revealed to GamesBeat that its index, which tracks the cost to acquire a new loyal user, rose 21 percent in December. That’s up 29 cents to $1.67 from $1.38 in November.

That bump from November to December reflects previous years, but the increase wasn’t as drastic as it was in 2011. Fiksu credits marketers for improving their methods.

“Mobile-app marketers are a year older and wiser, and we saw this reflected in the December Fiksu indexes,” the company’s chief executive officer Micah Adler said in a statement. “Unlike the spending frenzy we saw in 2011, many opted for a value-versus-volume approach in 2012, collectively applying a more conservative, sophisticated strategy to their Q4 campaigns and largely avoiding big gambles on a long App Store freeze. As a result, marketing dollars were spread to the long tail of apps outside the top 200, and the peaks in volume and cost per loyal user, while still significant, weren’t as extreme as they were in 2011.”

Fiksu daily downloads

Fiksu also noted an uptick in the average aggregate daily download volume for the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps for December. That index jumped from 4.57 million in November to 5.32 million in December.


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