These days, even the down months are technically up.

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index tracks the average daily download volume of the top 200 free iOS apps, and it shows a whopping 9.7 million daily downloads for February, which is 6 percent down from January. Still, that download volume is up 43 percent over last year’s. And Fiksu’s Cost Per Loyal User index, which measures the cost of acquiring a user who opens an app three times, is also down from the previous month, dipped 3 percent from January to $2.80. But that’s still quite a bit more than this time last year — 76 percent more.

The cost of acquiring loyal users shows a lull for February, and that’s most likely the result of a shorter month and some slowdown on holiday spending, Fiksu says. The company’s Cost Per Install index, which measures the cost per app installs directly tied to ads, shows at $1.28 for iOS, which was about the same as January. But like the competitive index figures for the month, it’s up 17 percent over last year. On the Android side, things were about the same for the month, with the CPI at $1.51.

“With the Cost per Loyal User being 76 percent higher than last year, but the Cost per Install either dropping or remaining flat, it suggests that competition is getting higher,” said Stewart Rogers, an analyst at VB Insight. “Although still a niche area of marketing technology, I expect that more app developers will follow the example set by the likes of Starbucks, PopCap, Kiloo, and Alaska Airlines, who all use mobile marketing automation [MMA] solutions to increase loyalty, lifetime customer value, and engagement. A recent report by John Koetsier suggests the MMA industry is growing fast, and many solutions are available to smaller developers; MMA isn’t just for the big brands.”


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“Marketers are becoming familiar with the ebbs and flows of seasonal behavior and the February Indexes reflect the revisiting of priorities and planning for Q2 spending,” said Micah Adler, the CEO of Fiksu. “Moving forward, we can expect more use of strategic spending practices via programmatic advertising and improved targeting as marketers seek to both scale and stand out from their competition.”

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