Localytics Indexes

Helping marketers better understand app user trends.


Q2 2015 Localytics Indexes Highlights:

Every quarter, Localytics produces two indexes: the App Stickiness Index and the App Launches Index, with the goal of tracking overall and seasonal changes in app usage.

Here are the highlights from Q2 2015:

  • The App Stickiness Index experienced a decline after a record performance in Q1 but is still faring better than 2014.
  • In the App Launches Index, apps in the Technology vertical made the biggest comeback, peaking at 10.9 app launches a month versus 9.6 in Q1. Travel & Lifestyle apps also took over the top spot in app launches, with 12.7 app launches per month versus Media & Entertainment with 12.3 launches.
  • Out of all of the vertical industries, Media & Entertainment apps saw the most fluctuation in App Stickiness as they experienced a 5 percent dip in stickiness between Q1 and Q2. However, Media & Entertainment apps still remain the stickiest app category overall out of all of the verticals.

Key Terms

  • Engagement: As measured by Power Users – the percentage of an app's users who have 10+ sessions in a month (i.e. how many highly engaged users an app has).
  • Retention: As measured by Loyal Users – the percentage of an app's users who return to the app within 3 months of their first session (the industry benchmark to measure loyalty and churn).
  • App Stickiness: Average of an app's Engagement and Retention.
  • App Launches: Average number of times an individual app is launched per month.

Localytics App Stickiness Index

The Localytics App Stickiness Index measures how well apps are engaging users and avoiding churn, in aggregate. The Index is a composite of two key app metrics: Engagement, as measured by Power Users, and Retention, as measured by Loyal Users (see “Key Terms” for definitions). In other words, a “sticky” app is one that engages users frequently and over time.

Localytics App Stickiness Index Jul 2012 - Jun 2015

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  •  Power Users
  •  Loyal Users
  •  App Stickiness

After increasing in Q1 2015 to an all-time high of 26 percent, App Stickiness declined to 24 percent by the end of Q2.

While App Stickiness is a function of both Engagement and Retention, in this case the primary cause of the decline was a corresponding decline in Engagement (the number of users who return to an app 10 or more times a month). By May, Engagement had dropped to 31 percent from 34 percent in Q1.

Despite the decrease, the percent of engaged users continues to be higher than previous years. In the first six months of 2015, 32 percent of users returned to an app 10+ times to-date, whereas, in the first half of 2014, only 26 percent did.

On the contrary, Retention, or the percent of users who return to the app three months after their first session, performed worse than previous years. The number of users who returned to an app three months after their first session averaged 16 percent in the first six months of 2014, compared to an average of 18 percent in both 2013 and 2014 in the same respective period.

Localytics App Stickiness Index by Vertical Jul 2012 - Jun 2015

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  •  eCommerce & Retail
  •  Games
  •  Media & Entertainment
  •  Technology
  •  Travel & Lifestyle

Media & Entertainment

Media & Entertainment apps experienced the most fluctuation out of all the verticals in Q2. By May, apps in this vertical saw a five percentage point decrease in Stickiness but then made a comeback in June. Yet, they remained the stickiest app vertical, consistently outperforming all other categories despite also experiencing the most significant downfall to happen this quarter.

Travel & Lifecycle

The stickiness of apps in the Travel & Lifecycle vertical also decreased, with a quarterly decline of three percent since March 2015. Because of this dip, Technology apps edged out Travel as the second most sticky vertical this quarter.


The most stable of the verticals, Technology apps remained steady this quarter at an average Stickiness of 22 percent, outperforming the previous three years and following similar seasonal trends to Q1 and Q2 of 2014.

eCommerce & Retail

eCommerce & Retail apps made a slight comeback following a soft Q1, increasing just one percent since the end of March. Since this point last year, eCommerce & Retail apps have consistently been the least sticky of all app verticals.


The Stickiness of Gaming apps also made a comeback in Q2, steadily improving over the three months of this quarter. Falling in the middle of the pack compared to their historical benchmarks, their ending performance is a promising sign for Q3.

Localytics App Launches Index

The Localytics App Launches Index tracks the average number of times an app was launched each month. By measuring the trend of app launches, app marketers know not just that their apps are being used frequently, but how frequently they are used over time.

Localytics App Launches per Month Jul 2012 - Jun 2015

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  •   App Launches per Month

App Launches continue to slowly improve year over year, demonstrating that users continue to return to their apps regularly. The number of app launches per month is now 10.9.

Localytics App Launches by Vertical Jul 2012 - Jun 2015

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  •  eCommerce ' Retail
  •  Games
  •  Media ' Entertainment
  •  Technology
  •  Travel ' Lifestyle

Media & Entertainment

The number of launches for Media & Entertainment apps (12.3 launches per month) remained flat over the course of Q2 and tracked exactly to their 2014 levels.

Travel & Lifestyle

With small increases over time, Travel & Lifestyle apps are now the most used app vertical, consistently beating Media & Entertainment apps for the first full quarter in four years. On average, apps in this vertical were launched 12.7 times a month.


After a flat Q1, the number of times technology apps are started every month drastically increased, hitting an all-time peak of 10.9 launches per month in May 2015.

eCommerce & Retail

eCommerce and Retail apps saw a steady improvement in the number of times they are launched per month, ending the quarter at 9.2 launches per month. This is tracking closely to their 2014 levels.


Apps in the Gaming vertical also improved since the beginning of the year, hitting the highest number of monthly launches yet in June at 8.8 launches.