Fiksu: iOS app downloads, marketing costs hit record high in Dec. 2011


Downloads from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store reached an all-time high in December 2011 according to mobile user acquisition platform Fiksu. At the same time, application marketing costs also scaled new heights as brands waged advertising bidding wars to lock-in top rankings before the storefront froze between Dec. 25 and Dec. 28. (Apple shuts down new App Store submissions and software updates over its holiday break.)

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App Store downloads peaked at a record 6.04 million last month, up almost 7 percent compared to the Fiksu App Store Competitive Index's previous monthly high of 5.65 million, recorded in November 2011. Fiksu's Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps, closed the year at a record $1.81, up 26.5 percent from $1.43 the previous month. Fiksu adds that the last half of December was the most competitive for mobile marketers, with traffic and budgets spent in the final week of 2011 increasing 100 percent over prior weeks.

"For so many app brands, December is a strategically critical month for app discovery," Fiksu CEO Micah Adler said in a statement. "What we witnessed during the month was a ‘land rush' in which advertisers earnestly spent marketing dollars in order to achieve ranking before the traditional App Store freeze which then would generate substantial organic downloads through increased visibility."

Data for the Fiksu Indexes is sourced from more than 11 billion mobile app actions (e.g., app launches, registrations and in-app purchases) as well as more than 200 million downloads recorded by apps marketed via the firm's platform. Last month, Fiksu introduced FreeMyApps, offering users free access to a selection of full-version premium iOS applications in exchange for sampling free, ad-subsidized apps.

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