Cost Per Install (CPI)

What is cost per install (CPI)?

Cost per install (CPI) is a marketing metric showing the average amount spent to get customers to download an application. CPI marketing campaigns are characterized by ads placed across multiple platforms that encourage people to download and use the advertiser’s software.

In turn, companies are charged when the application is installed. The CPI is determined by dividing the ad spend of a specific period of time by the number of new installs from that same period.

For example, if you spent $100 on ads for your app and acquired 82 new installs, your cost per install would be $100/82 = $1.22. However, there isn’t a standard CPI available for all apps, since there are many factors that determine the cost for every download. Factors that can influence CPI include the country, state, city (i.e., overall location) of the mobile user, the platform (i.e., the cost for each install is different from iOS app to Android apps), the mobile user acquisition channel (i.e., rates vary among social media platforms), mobile app category, and even seasonal factors (e.g., substantial budgets that generally accompany holiday season mobile app acquisition and conversion campaigns).