How to Get Noticed on the App Store: Spend More, Study Says

Photograph by Ben Sklar/The New York Times/Redux

Software makers are having to spend more to attract new users, according to a study by Fiksu.

(This post was updated to correct user definition in second paragraph and downloads time frame in fourth paragraph.)

Getting noticed on Apple’s App Store has become more expensive for developers this year, while application downloads haven’t increased much, according to Fiksu, a digital marketing company.

Developers who actively market their apps on the world’s largest mobile-software marketplace spent about $1.44 to attract each loyal user in June, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier, Fiksu said in a report today. A loyal user opens an app three or more times, according to Fiksu.

Competition between app developers is heating up as the market matures and users have more choices among apps offering similar features. Costs peaked in December at $1.81 per user as developers tried to attract people who got an Apple device for the holidays.

The 200 most popular free iPhone apps were downloaded 4.63 million times per day, on average, last month, an increase of 2.7 percent from June of last year, Fiksu said.

Apple has paid $5 billion to developers selling their wares in the App Store and more than 30 billion apps have been downloaded since the digital store’s opening in 2008, Tim Cook, the company’s chief executive officer, said at a conference last month.

Most developers aren’t complaining. Mobile apps for Apple and Google operating systems will generate $8.7 billion in revenue this year, up 60 percent from last year, according to a report today by Flurry, a mobile-research company.

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