Appsflyer, a global leader in mobile attribution and analytics, rolled out its comprehensive performance index analysis, Edition VIII, covering the later half of 2018. The report includes 370 media networks to sift 20 billion app installs, 11,500 apps and 39 billion app opens. It is a platform for brands and agencies to integrate and analyse on various parameters such as performance, growth and ROI. The recent number states that Appsflyer has around 55% of market share and is running strong.

The experts report that in 2014, mobile app-installed ads accounted for 30% of overall mobile advertising revenue, it touched $4.6 billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach $6.8 billion towards the end of 2019. Since Mobile advertising is establishing itself as an effective marketing tool, Appsflyer helps marketers to optimise their ad spend, zero in their targeting and to boost their Return on Investment.

According to Appsflyer Performance Index Edition VIII, Facebook Ads and Google Ads maintain their top position in power and volume ranking in gaming market. Talking about Performance Index of non-gaming market, while Facebook Ads lead at No.1 in power ranking, volume ranking has Google Ads at No.1 spot followed by Facebook Ads at second and 9Apps at third.

Where Facebook and Google continue to dominate the ranking, Snap has shifted from position 15 to 14.

Talking about Growth Index, Galaksion and App growth leads the universal ranking. Global ROI Index has Facebook and Google lead the universal ranking for gaming and non gaming market. The slight difference between Global ROI Index for gaming and non gaming sector is that Snap procures third spot in the latter. Rankings under Global Retargeting Index, for all categories in gaming market, Facebook maintains its lead but google drops to position seven. The non gaming market ranking has Facebook as the lead followed by Criteo at second and Google Ads at third.

This was all about the universal ranking for Performance, Growth and Global ROI Index. Focusing on Indian Subcontinent, Facebook and Google still tops the performance Index for gaming and non gaming market. Although, for Growth Index, Vertoz is leading the ranking and Galaksion has dropped to 8th position.

The regions that are covered in Edition VIII of Appsflyer Performance Index are North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and Africa and Middle East are the first timers to be included in the performance report. The categories surveyed are Shopping, Utilities, Lifestyle and Culture and Gaming further classified into Casual, Midcore and Strategy and Social Casino apps. In addition to this, high fraud rates worldwide is a key factor to impact the ranking and chipping away at marketers’ budget.

Key Takeaways of Appsflyer Performance Index Edition VIII

Facebook and Google’s domination in Digital Space

The duopoly of Facebook and Google is very significant in the digital space. It is no unknown fact that this domination is on a significant rise since past subsequent reports. Although, it is also seen that though, their combined market share is quite significant, it is not growing further. Though they are leading the performance index report for March 2019, they had similar market share in the previous report, in both gaming and non-gaming market.

Emerging Players Challenging the Persistent Duopoly

Even though Facebook and Google have been consistent in their ranking, new players are emerging and are gaining a significant market share. IronSource increases its market share globally by two folds surpassing Unity Ads to fourth spot. The fastest growth in terms of volume of app installs that has been witnessed, is by Apple Search Ads. The media network is increasing its share in non-gaming market by 380% and is predicted to have nearly $2 Billion in revenue by 2020.

As per Edition VIII of Appsflyer Performance Index, for non-gaming market, Vungle has managed to multiply its market share and grab third position surpassing Apple Search Ads and Snapchat. Although in the previous report, Apple Search Ads were at third and have dropped to position 7 in the current one. Although, Snapchat has increased its market share to reach 8th position from 16th.

For gaming market, Iron Source has taken a commendable jump from 12th position to 5th, Cross Install has moved from 11th to 8th position but Apple Search Ads and Vungle have dropped by one position each.

Fraud Rate impacts the overall ranking

The second half of 2018 witnessed app install fraud rate of nearly 30% worldwide. Due to digital space growing at a significant rate, fraud rate is bound to increase. Obviously, marketers need to protect them from such attempts, but what causes fraud rate to still be this high? Apart from the financial incentive to fraudsters, there are marketers that are still unaware of such frauds. In order to prevent and reduce the fraud rate, the first and foremost step should be spreading awareness about the fraud attempt and taking up measures of prevention against them.

Notable fluncations in ROI

The Global ROI Index has witnessed far more significant changes as compared to other rankings. Facebook and Google have seen an improvement in their ranking from 4th and 7th to 1st and 2nd respectively in the universal gaming ranking.

Apart from the leading stars of this March 2019’s performance index, other networks that saw growth are Snapchat, Vungle and CrossInstall amongst others. Snapchat jumped from 9th to 4th in non gaming but fell from 1st to 12th in casual gaming ranking. Vungle improved from 12th to 5th in universal gaming ranking and CrossInstall plummeted from 1st to 6th position in universal gaming ranking.

Affiliate Model seems to be more vulnerable to Fraud

Affiliate model is losing its ground in the app marketing space due to being vulnerable to fraud. Appsflyer Performance Index Edition VIII states that there is a 12% drop in the number of non-organic app installs. Whereas, the app install pie saw 32% overall jump in size.

Emerging Players face a Volatile Market

The main objective of growth index introduction was to encourage and provide a platform to emerging media sources. Although, with highly competitive environment, it is difficult to sustain growth.  According to the March 2019 analysis, 40% of networks that emerged in the last edition of Growth Index experienced a negative growth in the latest edition. Only 10% of the networks made it in both the versions of performance index. All these networks were merging media sources.

Africa and Middle East witness a sustainable growth

This Edition witnessed Africa and Middle East as new entrants in the index. It is estimated that these regions are expected to experience the highest growth in number of smartphone users worldwide. The numbers might jump to almost 213 million by 2022, that is, a 40% jump. According to the report, the introduction of these two regions is due to the growing volume of non-organic installs.

Majority of installs were steered by gaming apps with almost 30% rise in average number of non-organic installs per app. The substantial growth of region’s economic development is the reason for Africa and Middle East to find their place in Appsflyer Performance Index. Both the regions serve as a fertile ground for marketers to attract and retain customers.

Google sees a 190% jump

Google has improved in app retargeting index by 190%. Although Facebook continues to dominate this activity with high volume and thus procuring position 1 in all power-rankings. Criteo, a web retargeting powerhouse, sustains to be on position 2 in non gaming power ranking, thus being a popular choice. Although, its market share is seeing a drop.

Also, RTB House, another retargeting media source, is on a substantial growth in retargeting conversion and client adoption both. The client adoption metric witness a 50% increase in the index.

The Appsflyer Index serves as a touchstone for all media sources worldwide to integrate at a single platform and analyse their performance in terms of ROI, performance, app Installs and overall growth in gaming and non-gaming market.