The price for acquiring loyal app users in the U.S. is currently higher than any time ever recorded before, according to mobile app marketer Fiksu. According to its data, the cost of a loyal user (defined as someone who opens an app three or more times a month) rose to $1.90, up from $1.80 in July. This means that app creators have to spend more marketing money than ever to expand their audiences.

The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index for August 2013

Above: The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index for August 2013

Image Credit: Fiksu

Fiksu attributes the increase to a saturation of bigger brands in the market as well as usual planning during the holidays, a time when companies test different mobile marketing strategies.

“Mobile is where marketers are competing today, especially as big brands and Madison Avenue get on board in the quest to reach consumers where they are most: on mobile,” said Fiksu chief executive officer Micah Adler in an email sent to GamesBeat. “With marketing costs at a record high and only likely to grow as the holidays approach, now is the time for mobile marketers to hone their campaign strategies — before the real competition starts.”

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps. Daily downloads were at 5.9 million in August, a small bump from July’s 5.8 million.

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index for August 2013

Above: The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index for August 2013

Image Credit: Fiksu

Based in Boston, Fiksu has accumulated more than 140 billion app actions from its clients over time and has driven more than a billion app downloads for its customers.