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Fiksu is launching a couple of new mobile app marketing indices today that show how the costs of acquiring new users are rising.

These costs matter to developers and publishers because they show that, on average, the cost of getting new users often exceeds the revenue that comes from those users. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it means a lot of mobile app and game companies will go out of business, while only some will survive as hit makers.

The new indices show app marketers that in January, the cost of marketing apps on iOS and Android were pretty close, or about 16 cents per app launch apart. That’s after about 10 months when there was a considerable gap. Fiksu calls that a “post-holiday correction.”

Boston-based Fiksu is launching its Cost per Install index, which focuses on download costs and measures the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising. The cost per install in January was $1.27 on Android and $1.01 on iOS. The Android CPI number was down 29 percent from $1.80 in December, while the iOS number was up 13 percent from 88 cents in December.


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On iOS, incentivized networks provide a low-cost, high-value marketing tool that drives installs and boosts app store visibility during the busy holidays. On Android, however, install volumes have less immediate value and impact on visibility in the Google Play app store. So Android marketers focused their spending over the holidays on relatively more expensive sources of installs and then moved to more cost-effective incentivized networks in January.

And the new Cost per App Launch index focuses on engagement and ongoing value, tracking the cost of each repeat app launch over time. This index captures the fluctuating costs of advertising and the resulting engagement those ads deliver. The data comes from hundreds of Fiksu mobile app marketing clients.

“Today’s savvy app marketer is looking to achieve two things: 1) to cost-efficiently acquire new users and, 2) to drive engagement and repeat app usage,” Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu, said in a statement. “By benchmarking the cost of both installs and app launches, our new Fiksu Indexes provide two distinct points of analysis, helping app marketers fine-tune their strategies and spending. Furthermore, with our granular side-by-side analysis of iOS versus Android and games versus general apps, we’re helping them drill down a level to understand the distinct nuances of marketing on different platforms and to different user bases.”

Fiksu’s existing indices show that the cost per loyal user was $1.80 in January, up 3 percent from December and up 15 percent from a year ago. In January, Fiksu measures 6.4 million downloads per day, up 6 percent from a year ago.

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