Архив метки: CPI

W3i: App Marketing Costs On The Rise, Jump 56% On iOS, 70% On Android Since January


It’s no secret that the mobile app landscape has become extremely competitive. Over the last few years, this has led to an incredible amount of innovation and progress, but the cost of visibility — of acquiring new users — is also on the rise. In fact, Fiksu found that the cost of acquiring users hit a record high in December. While December is a critical month for app discovery, it remained to be seen whether or not this trend would continue.

Today, W3i, the monetization and distribution network for app developers, released new user acquisition figures for the first half of 2012, and the results tell the same story and are worrying for developers. Assessing hundreds of millions of mobile users from January to June 2012, W3i found that the average cost-per-install (of CPI) of mobile apps increased by 70 percent on Android and by 56 percent on iOS.

By June, the cost-per-install on Android had risen from $0.30 to $0.51, while iOS CPI has increased from $0.59 to $0.92.

W3i attributed this increase, in part, to mobile gaming giants like DeNA have entered the U.S. market, a prime example of the fact that, for the first time, billion-dollar companies are now competing with small to mid-sized developers. As free-to-play giants leverage their huge marketing budgets to help attract new users, the overall cost of user acquisition has increased — making it increasingly difficult for developers who are trying to make a living in apps.

“The entire user acquisition market is undergoing a sea change that will require mobile developers to re-think how they obtain and monetize their users,” said Robert Weber, co-founder of W3i. “This could be the ‘innovate or die’ moment for a lot of developers as the competition for mobile users continues to heat up.”

Many were surprised when popular Mac and iOS email client Sparrow recently exited to Google. Considering that the Sparrow team was widely respected, the app had risen to popularity, and the team had raised a seed round from some notable investors, it seemed a somewhat disappointing result.

The team behind iOS development startup, AppCubby, recently penned a post talking about what it called “The Sparrow problem” and the challenges facing indie mobile developers.

Here’s an excerpt:

… Things have definitely changed and Sparrow is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The age of selling software to users at a fixed, one-time price is coming to an end. It’s just not sustainable at the absurdly low prices users have come to expect. Sure, independent developers may scrap it out one app at a time, and some may even do quite well and be the exception to the rule, but I don’t think Sparrow would have sold-out if the team — and their investors — believed they could build a substantially profitable company on their own. The gold rush is well and truly over.

AppCubby’s conclusion, mixed with this news from W3i, points to the hard truth that, going forward, developers will likely have to consider new alternatives to marketing. W3i recommends that developers focus on designing apps for strong monetization to optimize their ability to compete, along with making paid buys during focused time windos to magnify chart rankings. And, since cost rises with volume in this market, there’s still hope for beating the average rates by producing titles in less-saturated areas.

Meanwhile, W3i said that, for the most part, social app discovery is still an unproven method for developers, with Facebook’s App Center still new to the market and Apple’s App Store becoming increasingly competitive. But social mechanics will become increasingly important going forward.

Iris Shoor also recently penned a post for TechCrunch talking about the approach she and her team took to marketing their app, and how they used non-traditional marketing tactics to get to 10 million downloads, including getting customer stories and testimonials and creating direct channels to their users.

W31 also noted that, like we saw from Fiksu’s analysis in December, the value of new users jumps even more during long weekends. Unsurprisingly, the company found that holiday weekends are high in advertiser demand, with rates increasing by 65 percent over the 2012 Memorial Day Weekend, for example, with some CPI rates even more than quadrupling the industry standard.

W3i: App Marketing Costs On The Rise, Jump 56% On iOS, 70% On Android Since January

With Another $1.5M, Appboy Launches App Management Platform, Hootsuite CEO Joins Board

Screen shot 2012-03-26 at 11.08.38 AM

App developers want to make kick ass applications that users want to download, and — let me go out on a limb here — they also want to make money. Monetizing apps can be tough, but with a more complete picture of how their users are interacting with their app, the opportunities to bring in more revenue become clearer — as does the way to better user experiences. Back in November, we covered Appboy, a startup on a mission to enable app developers to expand, engage, and better understand their user base — and, in turn, make more money.

The New York City-based startup had just closed a $1 million round of seed funding, led by Blumberg Capital, with participation from Metamorphic Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, Bullpen Capital and T5 Capital. Today, the company is announcing an additional $1.5 million in follow-on seed funding led by the very same cast of investors.

Why the quick follow-on investment? According to Appboy CEO Mark Ghermezian, the startup’s private beta tested its platform with 40 developers, and those developers represented several million users from over 12 different countries — and multiple different categories in the App Store. And that’s the key, the CEO says, that its platform tested well with developers with sizable user bases, providing some early validation that the platform could indeed be scalable and category agnostic.

As to some background for those unfamiliar: Appboy is building an integrated management platform for mobile app developers, including a user-facing mobile SDK and an online dashboard for developers. Simply put, the SDK can be quickly integrated into host apps, allowing developers to provide CRM tools, encourage social sharing, run social campaigns, and more easily cross-promote their apps. Through the dashboard, app developers can share news and alerts with users, view analytics, manage their social media presence, and reply to feedback from end users.

Appboy’s dashboard combines both internal metrics with that of third-party providers like Klout, Facebook, and Twitter. The end goal here is to give app developers a sense of just how valuable each of their users are, so that if they’ve just submitted feedback, taken part in a promotion, or posted to your Facebook wall, the dashboard will automatically include info on their usage statistics and sharing history, including information from third parties about their interests, behavior, and social influence.

Allowing developers to manage their Facebook and Twitter presence from the dashboard is a new feature for Appboy, and enables them to push news and alerts to social networks as well as the “in-app news section” of the Appboy SDK. This obviously puts Appboy squarely in the realm of social CRM tools, and along with the news of their new funding, Appboy is also announcing that it is adding Hootsuite CEO and co-founder Ryan Holmes to its advisory board.

For those unfamiliar, Hootsuite is a popular social media management platform for businesses that lets users manage campaigns across multiple social networks from one dashboard. As Appboy brings social CRM management to mobile app developers, CEO Mark Ghermezian tells us that he thinks having Holmes on board can be a big leg up to help the company define what works and what doesn’t when it comes to managing customer relationships on social networks.

When we first covered Appboy in November, the startup was just entering private beta. Today, along with its new funding, the team is opening up its public beta. Developers can register for the Appboy SDK here.

Appboy remains iOS-only at this point, but in the next couple of months, the CEO says, Appboy will be using its follow-on funding to accelerate its arrival on Android, along with releasing some advanced CRM tools for app developers, as well as monetization options through cross-promotion. In regard to this last feature, Appboy is planning to do this through CPI and CPC, as it builds distribution among users through the apps integrating its platform, as well as through a “Sponsored Apps” feature within the “Explore Tab” of its SDK.

And, of course, last but not least, Appboy is also also ramping up hiring.

With Another $1.5M, Appboy Launches App Management Platform, Hootsuite CEO Joins Board