7 Things You Need to Know About Mobile App Cost-Per-Install Values
Figuring out how much it costs for someone to install your app is a critical metric needed in order to help your app scale successfully.
This metric is Cost Per Install (CPI).
In a ‘Cost Per Install’ campaign, you place a digital advert across a media channel, with the aim of encouraging users to click on the ad and download your app.
To calculate your CPI, you need to run several marketing campaigns to generate data via different channels.
First, you need to estimate a CPI value and then allocate a sufficient marketing budget to test the channel.
There are many companies who publish regular data on this topic, which has allowed research to take place to calculate a range of key statistics about CPI figures.
Here are 7 key things you need to know.
1. Key Overall Statistics
The following list shows CPI values across both Android and iOS for some of the major regions around the world
- iOS CPI worldwide — $1.24
- iOS CPI in US — $1.64
- iOS Loyal User CPI in US — $2.78
- Android CPI in US (Google Play) — $1.91
- Android CPI in US (Amazon) — $1.74
- iOS CPI in Europe — $1.4
- Android CPI in Europe (Google Play) — $0.99
- Android CPI in Europe (Amazon) — $0.41
- iOS App CPI in Asia — $0.90
- Android CPI in Asia (Google Play) — $0.74
- Android CPI in Asia (Amazon) — $0.26
2. 2014 vs. 2015 Results
Interestingly, data shows that over the past couple of years, the average CPI value was down 14% from 2014 to 2015. However, over the last quarter of 2015, we started to see the average CPI value start to increase again.
Why is this?
One of the main reasons was because of the new iPhone launch. With the new version released in September 2015, many developers waited before running large volume user acquisition campaigns, as they wanted to wait and acquire new iPhone 6 users.
A second likely reason is because of the holiday season in Q4. During this period, many apps ramped up their advertising budget in order to acquire users who are likely to have more free time and more money to spend, during this popular time of the year
3. CPI for Daily Active Users
Yes, it’s important to acquire new users. However, for your app to be profitable, you need to turn installs into loyal users or Daily Active Users (DAU).
Fiksu.com tracked this metric and classified these loyal users as having opened an app three times or more, since it’s been downloaded.
Results showed that in December 2015, during the peak holiday season, the average CPI of a loyal user was more than USD 4. In January, however, this dropped by 24% to USD 2.78.
4. CPI Values for Different Countries
The country which has on average the highest average CPI is Australia, where the average CPI for iOS is USD 3.23. Hong Kong has the highest CPI for iOS in Asia at USD 2.85. While Sweden leads the way for Europe, with an average CPI of USD 2.77.
5. Gaming Apps vs. Non-Gaming Apps
Gaming apps have traditionally been the most profitable type of apps in the market. Therefore, the CPI between gaming and non-gaming apps is important to analyze.
The CPI for March 2016 shows for non-gaming apps, the average CPI on Android is USD 0.35 compared to USD 0.63 for iOS.
Interestingly, on Android, the average CPI for games is higher than non-games — USD 0.56 vs. USD 0.35.
While for iOS, it’s the complete opposite, with the CPI being USD 0.63 for non-gaming vs. USD 0.58 for gaming.
6. iOS vs. Android, Globally
Geenapp released data which showed that the average CPI for iOS is USD 1.24 and is predominantly equal, across both the iPhone and iPad platforms.
For Android, the average CPI is a lot lower and sits at USD 0.53.
Why is Android cheaper than iOS?
It mainly comes down to the regions in which Android is more prevalent in. In countries like India and China, who have huge populations, Android is the most popular platform. Because of this, and the lower lifetime value of an Android customer in these regions, it results in a lower average CPI.
7. iOS vs. Android in Western Markets
In the Western world, the CPI values between iOS and Android are much different.
In January 2016, the average CPI in the U.S. was USD 1.64 for iOS and USD 1.91 for Android.
Interestingly, over the competitive holiday season in Q4 2015, CPI values between iOS and Android had completely different effects.
On Android, the CPI shot up to USD 3.5 over this peak period and then dropped back to under USD 2.
Whereas, for iOS, the CPI values had the opposite effect, with values dropping over December, which is the most competitive time of the year.
Why is this? Well, one reason is because many iOS apps used incentivised traffic campaigns, in order to generate a high volume of new installs to boost their apps to the top charts, which generated enormous visibility for their apps. By doing so, they managed to achieve a lower effective CPI.