Mobile App Installs 2019

Marketers Innovate to Land Coveted Home Screen Placement

Executive Summary

In order to gain users in a saturated market, app developers and brands are becoming more sophisticated in their app install advertising and organic strategies.

What is driving the app installation marketplace?

Consumer demand for apps is rising: Installs grew 11.6% year over year in Q1 2019, according to Sensor Tower. But that growth was driven heavily by developing markets. App installation in developed markets is slower, though the supply of programs continues to grow. Gaming still leads the sector, but it now competes for ad inventory more directly with a range of verticals, including retail, travel, utilities and others, which drives prices higher.

What are good app install strategies?

App install advertisers once judged campaigns on the number of installs produced, but they are now more likely to take post-install actions into account as well (i.e., in-app purchases or registrations). They also use this data to optimize ad targeting and messaging. The same data helps them get a better understanding of the lifetime value (LTV) of users and the true return on ad spend (ROAS).

How important are organic strategies?

App store optimization remains important, even as app store search ads proliferate. Most apps are downloaded organically, and they generally have the more engaged users. More companies, especially in retail, are also driving installs from their best customers through their website, email and other owned properties.

How big a problem is app install fraud?

App install fraudsters continue to innovate. Fraud prevention tools help cut down losses to fraud, but they can’t eliminate it completely.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report will look at the size of the app market as well as the three major strategies that developers follow to acquire and engage app users.

KEY STAT: The number of smartphone users is barely growing in the US and other developed markets. Developers face tighter competition to gain a foothold on users’ home screens.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Background: What’s Driving the App Install Marketplace?
  3. App Install Advertising Grows, and Grows in Sophistication
  4. App Install Marketing Beyond Ads
  1. App Install Strategies Beyond Android and iOS
  2. App Install Fraud
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Samir Addamine
Founder and Chairman
Interviewed June 3, 2019
Pepe Agell
Chief Strategy Officer
Interviewed June 17, 2019
Harry Antonio
Director, Customer Success
Interviewed May 23, 2019
Alex Austin
CEO and Co-Founder
Interviewed May 28, 2019
Sarah Chafer
Senior Vice President, Global Performance
Interviewed May 21, 2019
Stan Coignard
Americas CEO, Co-Founder
Chris Costello
Senior Director, Marketing Research
Interviewed May 23, 2019
Mark Ellis
Interviewed May 28, 2019
Vikas Gulati
Head of Global Performance
Interviewed June 7, 2019
Peter Hamilton
Interviewed May 21, 2019
Chris Maddern
Chief Product Officer
Interviewed June 4, 2019
Randy Nelson
Sensor Tower
Head of Mobile Insights
Interviewed May 23, 2019
Michael Paxman
Product Communications Lead
Interviewed May 21, 2019
Enric Pedró
Lab Cave
Interviewed May 20, 2019
Jasper Radeke
Senior Director, Marketing
Interviewed May 24, 2019
Jeffrey Richardson
Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed June 3, 2019
Jason Santillano
Director, Marketing
Interviewed May 30, 2019
Srinivas KC
Vice President and General Manager
Interviewed June 7, 2019
Jay Klauminzer
Interviewed May 30, 2019
Lexi Sydow
App Annie
Senior Market Insights Manager
Interviewed June 28, 2019
Jill Abbott
Head of Consumer and Athlete Engagement
Interviewed June 14, 2019
Stephen Mello
Vice President, Strategy
Interviewed May 23, 2019
Caleb Yarian
Work & Co
Associate Partner, Strategy
Interviewed June 14, 2019

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Yoram Wurmser


Ross Benes
Chris Keating
Research Director
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst

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