How Much Has The Cost of Acquiring a Quality iOS User Changed This Spring?

Fiksu, a Boston-based company that helps developers optimize their spending on ad networks so they can cheaply get users, said the cost of acquiring a loyal user on iOS rose to $1.27 in June from $1.10 a month earlier. That’s how much a developer would need to spend on mobile ad networks and other channels to get a user that opens their app three times.

The company, which is backed by Charles River Ventures, optimizes a developer’s spending on a few dozen ad networks and other marketing channels to get the lowest rates possible. It works with some bigger brands like Groupon and has been picking up extra gaming clients in the wake of Apple’s ban on incentivized installs. (We have a longer overview and Q&A with the company’s CEO here.)

Today, Fiksu launched a set of monthly indices that are meant to give insight on user acquisition costs for mobile developers. One of the two indices is the “Cost Per Loyal User Index,” or the average cost to get an iOS user that opens an app at least three times. Overall, this figure rose through the spring as the app store became more crowded.

The second index Fiksu launched today is about app store competitiveness. It looks at the average number of downloads the top 200 free iPhone apps get per day in the U.S. This figure has also been on an upward trajectory.

However, there was a dip after April when Apple began rejecting apps that contain offer walls. Downloads for the top 200 free iPhone apps fell to 3.78 million a day in the U.S. in May, from 4.61 million a day in April. At the time, Apple began arguing that these offer walls, which developers were paying for downloads through, were being used to game app store rankings.

Up until then, offer walls had been driving millions of downloads a month, especially for the very biggest free-to-play developers. Once publishers began taking them out, developers had to scramble and find ways to replace them as a cheap source of new customers. Overall, that temporarily drove download rates in the iOS store lower.

Now app store competitiveness is back up slightly with the top 200 free iPhone apps seeing 4.51 million downloads a day in the U.S. But it still has yet to surpass its peak in April.