The January 2015 App Store Competitive Index already indicates a strong start for the year when it comes to mobile apps, as they easily surpassed the 10 million download mark, with 10.3 million daily downloads, up from the previous record of 9.2 million. That’s a 12 percent growth month-after-month, and a 61 percent leap from January 2014.

However, with that, mobile marketing costs are also on the rise, according to Fiksu. The Cost Per Loyal User Index (or CPLU) shows the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands that actively market specific apps. It’s sitting at an all-time high of $2.90, highlighted by the chart below. That’s a 38 percent jump from the previous month, and a 61 percent year-over-year increase (compared to just $1.80 from January 2014). The numbers increased across both iOS and Android alike.

Marketers are following suit, adapting to what Fiksu calls “the new reality of apps” with consumer demands focusing more on major brands, thus building a new demand on the app landscape in general. Of course, there’s also some light concern with these costs, as some marketers have to make adjustments so that profit is still met. (With more popular apps, like Clash of Clans, this obviously isn’t too big a concern.)

What most companies are paying attention to now is to see if this growth in CPLU continues, since it has risen quite a bit over the previous year. With that, some marketers may have to adjust, becoming more strategic with their marketing plans and learning from channels that provide layers of audience targeting. This includes a heavy outreach via social media, including Facebook, Twitter and RTB. More precision targeting and bigger strategies could also help adjust costs with earnings, and hopefully keep the flow of popular apps going in the months ahead, leading into 2016 — where the numbers could be bigger than ever.

Fikus also tracked the rise in CPI for January. “The January Cost Per Install Index (CPI), which measures the cost per app installs directly attributed to advertising, increased to $1.28 on iOS, a 9 percent rise since last month and a 7 percent increase since last January. On Android, CPIs also rose 9 percent for the month, to $1.53, a 23 percent increase since last January. As the shift to more sophisticated targeting is evident, marketers can expect that a larger part of their mobile strategy will include channels that offer several layers of audience targeting, such as Facebook, Twitter and RTB, which will increase CPIs but also increase the value of each acquired user,” noted the company.

The full results of this report can be found here, on Fiksu’s page.

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