Fiksu: user acquisition costs rise dramatically while iOS downloads see minor increase

iOS download volume is slowly rising again but user acquisition costs are rising faster, reports user acquisition company Fisku.  The cost to acquire a loyal user — defined as someone who will open an app at least three times — jumped by 14.3 percent to $1.44 per loyal user in June.

While Fisku attributed the increase to quarter-end marketing spends and a cautious return to UDID (Unique Device Identifier) attribution tracking, we’ve heard from several sources that user acquisition costs have risen dramatically as some well-funded players have started to compete in earnest for new users. This has not just lead to an increase in user acquisition costs, but has also been responsible for the sudden push to form new mobile cross-promotion networks — an alternative (and much, much cheaper) way to acquire new users.

iOS downloads also rose in June, hitting 4.63 million daily downloads spread between the top 200 free iPhone apps in the U.S. — a slight gain over May’s average of 4.54 million downloads.

While daily download volume is still down from January’s all-time high of 6.79 million downloads, that peak was inflated by the use of download bots, a chart-gaming tactic used by some developers to artificially push an app to the top of the free charts. Apple’s crackdown on the practice in February caused the volume of daily app downloads to fall for three straight months.