Top free iPhone app devs paying $1.81 per user in marketing

Fiksu, a mobile marketing firm, released some interesting data on how much money top iPhone app developers are spending on promoting their creations. After looking at the top 200 free iPhone App Store for December, the average cost to get someone to run an app more than three times is $1.81. This is up significantly from $1.41 in November. Fiksu also determined that the App Store saw a little over  6 million daily downloads in December, helped in no small part by the oodles of Christmas sales. In fact, the last week of December saw advertising budgets (and traffic) double. Fiksu gathered up this information through their marketing platform, which spans over 200 million downloads, and 11 billion in-app actions. App Store rankings freeze between December 25 and 28, which creates a rush to get top position beforehand, so you hold that visibility while folks start downloading apps on their new iPhones. Fiksu CEO Micah Adler said:

“For so many app brands, December is a strategically critical month for app discovery. 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.”

It paints a harsh picture of the app development world when you have to pay nearly two bucks just to get someone to run your app a couple of times, nevermind spend any money on in-app purchases, or click on any ads. With iPhone app download volume climbing, and showing no signs of letting up, it's bound to put a lot of pressure on developers to compete. Considering all the noise, discoverability is huge, and it's not entirely surprising to see publishers willing to pay so much to get it.

Of course, if developers just wrote good apps and dropped us a line, maybe they'd get some free advertising by way of our Daily Apps series. Jussayin'.

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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