The main metrics governing the cost of user acquisition and retention for mobile apps continue to rise sharply year on year, says mobile data firm Fiksu, with cost per install and cost per launch both rising sharply over the last few months.
Although the data released yesterday covers all apps rather than just games, previous game-specific figures from the firm indicate that games are following a very similar trend. With the cost of building a loyal audience spiralling, breaking into the top-grossing charts has never been more difficult.
However, Fiksu also sees money being spent more smartly, with better targeting and more fine tuning of the acquisition process leading to better customer retention overall.
"The trend line towards spending more on mobile continues: increased attention to mobile and willingness to spend to reach the 'right' app users is evident, and with that, costs have been rising," reads the report. "Higher-value sources, such as Facebook and video ads, cost more on a per-install basis but lead to higher-quality results. In addition, an increased focus on retargeting-to retain users and convert them to loyal users-allows advertisers to obtain higher loyalty rates. As demonstrated this month, the cost-per-install (CPI) and the cost to acquire a loyal user (CPLU) will eventually move closer together, and even converge, as targeting capabilities continue to improve, and each install is more likely to become a loyal user."