98% Of Smartphone Owners Reinstall Apps -- Are Measurement Techniques In Question?

Search drives 65% of all app reinstall behavior, and large brands own 70% of the most-reinstalled apps in the iOS App Store. About 42% of app installs are actually reinstalls.

The data, which questions the accuracy of prior measurement techniques, comes from a report published by Tune that analyzed 3.1 billion installs from November 2017 through May 2018 to come up with the number of reinstalled apps and the reasons why consumers cannot stay away.

If all goes as planned, Statista estimates the app economy will reach nearly $200 billion by 2020. But as the report suggests, the future is based on the ability to win back and engage app users who are willing to give an app a second chance.

Tune CEO Peter Hamilton believes the high search stat is partly attributable to demand. Users will often use an app to book a flight one time, for example, only to delete the app until the next time they need it.

The Tune report estimates that 27% of people were prompted by an ad to reinstall an app, 3% after seeing a promotion, 3% after visiting a website, and 2% due to something else. In May, Tune released an integration with Apple Search Ads through an attribution API to measure the difference between new users and those reinstalling the app.

Of the 3.1 billion installs, 37% of Android installs were reinstalls, while 47% of iOS installs were reinstalls. The top five app categories -- by percentage of all installs that are reinstalls -- include productivity apps at 75.7%, social networking at 66.8%, travel at nearly 54%, business at about 49%, and education at nearly 38%.

The overall average that 98% of smartphone owners have reinstalled an app caught Hamilton a little off guard. “We assumed reinstalls would be somewhere in the high single digits to the low teens, and higher in emerging markets,” he said. “But what we found is across the board our averages were pretty high. We’re almost 30% in North America.”

Reinstalls make up almost 30% of all app downloads in North America. Breaking it down by region, Mexico comes close to 40%, Canada is at 33.5%, and the United States comes in at 27%. While the U.S. drags down the North American number, its reinstall rate is artificially lowered by a disproportionate number of server-to-server measured apps, which do not return reinstall data such as device-level measured apps, according to the report.

Romania, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Russia are among the countries with the highest percentage of reinstalls in Europe. China, Bangladesh, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Singapore are among the highest in Asian countries.  



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