An unprecedented number of app installs enabled Google to see a massive spurt in its app install ad business, closing the gap with longtime rival and top dog, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). With 3 billion app installs, Google experienced a two-fold increase in the volume of app installs over the past years, a significant change from the 2 billion recorded installs Google announced in May.
In April, Facebook reported 2 billion installs in its ad platform during its F8 event. At the rate Google is going, it is only a matter of time before the Android maker dominates in the app install market. Insiders say that the app install market is a profitable segment, with revenues estimated to reach $7 billion by 2020 in the U.S. market alone.
Although it is hard to get conclusive information on who’s leading the app install market, four independent companies that monitor the attributions for successful install campaigns. Adjust, AppsFlyer, Kochava, and Tune presented hard evidence that Google is rapidly closing in on Facebook. Several advertisers who say they’ve increased their spending on Google back the data presented by the monitoring firms.
In a VentureBeat interview, Joe Robb, who manages a health and fitness app business called SparkPeople, said that his company shifted budget away from Facebook to Google this year after learning that AdWords outdid Facebook ads for most of his apps. SparkPeople increased its budget for Google campaigns by 125% monthly over the past two months.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “You pull the trigger, and the app downloads come in.”
It’s worth noting that the results of Google’s new ad offerings in May haven’t shown up in attribution statistics. This means Google may have outperformed Facebook. Robb added that part of the reason why his company shifted to Google is the lower cost per install. He noted that over the past several months, Google’s campaigns were driving more volume as well.
Although Facebook is still dominating the app install segment, an AppsFlyer survey revealed that Google is catching up quickly. The survey assessed 4 billion app installs as well as the media sources that drove them. AppsFlyer said that Google has surpassed Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook in the games apps segment, reaching the top spot in global retention of users via Android.
Meanwhile, Google’s growth is even more impressive by the measure of Tune. The firm assessed 150 million installs by 74 million devices owned by 48 million Americans. According to Tune’s findings, Google saw sudden massive growth of mobile app install ads in 2015 and the search engine giant continues to maintain its growth in 2016 at an “almost unprecedented pace.”
According to John Koetsier, an economist at Tune, “While it’s easy to generate big growth multiples on tiny businesses to see this kind of ramp-up for a company the size of Google is impressive, to say the least.”
Kochava and Adjust garnered similar results. According to Jeremy Grimm, director of publisher development for Kochava, Google has grown consistently since 2015 and at a much faster rate than Facebook.