Facebook leads when it comes to retention, remarketing, and in-app purchases.
But the data shows that the social network also charges more. Game developers are facing considerably higher costs in North America, Latin America, and Europe, while Google charges more in APAC regions.
When it comes to non-gaming categories, Google is more expensive with the exception of North America where Facebook has higher rates.
When broken down by platform, Google wins thanks to the domination of Android, but Facebook controls much of iOS.
Meanwhile, Unity Ads emerged as the leader among the Retention Index due to a jump in scale. Compared to ironSource or AppLovin, its quality is the lowest though.
It rated top for Hyper Casual and Arcade games.
The index also noted that COVID-19 had a massive impact on apps and the impact on media source rankings was marginal.
Apple Search Ads were the exception. Here organic growth led marketers to increase their App Store optimisation efforts which drove massive growth for Apple Search Ads.
״Although retention is a central KPI for performance app marketers, monetization metrics in a freemium-driven ecosystem reign supreme,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Mobile Insights, AppsFlyer.
“Since 2015, app marketers have turned to our Performance Index to guide them in deciding which media sources to partner with. Thanks to the scale of marketers measuring purchase events with AppsFlyer, we were able, for the first time, to create the in-app purchase Index and the IAA Index with statistically significant results. We’re thrilled to be able to offer such significant insight to marketers, especially considering that many apps today rely on in-app purchases and ad monetization to drive revenue.”