Retention is still a major issue for app developers

Anne Freier | February 28, 2018

Mobile Advertising

App developers continue to have to deal with tough retention challenges, according to the latest benchmark report by Adjust, the mobile app measurement company based in Berlin. Based on the data tracked from 11,000 apps in 2017, the report highlights app market insights and user engagement and retention details.
Overall, Adjust revealed that retention and engagement were both elevated in 2017. However, retention tends to drop after the first 14 days following app download. Just 13% of app users actually come back to use an app. Meanwhile, retention on iOS is overall higher than on Android. However, the difference is minimal at up to 3%.
Interestingly, it’s the Japanese market that sees the highest retention rates – at 3% above average. Users in China are a lot harder to retain. After a single day, 80% of Chinese app users may have left the app. By the end of a single week, just 7% continue to use an app.
Adjust argues that this may be why WeChat dominates among the Chinese apps.
In terms of app category, entertainment and gaming apps manage to keep their users well engaged. Travel apps have a much lower retention rate at just 7% by day 12.

Overall, utility apps had the highest retention rates at 44%, whilst business apps performed second best.
According to Adjust, the mobile app market increased 33.6% in 2017 in terms of ad spend. Two million apps were released and $17 billion spent on performance ads.
Google and Facebook led in terms of attribution. Google proved better at reaching and engaging users. User engagement increased over time by 2.5 sessions daily.
However, mobile ad fraud still affects many apps. Games were more affected by fraud. Indeed, over a third of fraud registered by Adjust was related to games. That’s partially due to gaming apps spending more on mobile ads than other categories.

eCommerce also feature their fair share of mobile app fraud at 20% of Adjust’s dataset.
Fraud affects all devices, but Android is particularly affected. This may be due to Android devices being more easily jailbroken as well as more Android devices being sold than Apple phones. However, click injection could be another important part driving this trend.

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