Mobile App Terminology

Churn Rate

What is churn rate?

Churn rate refers to the percentage of mobile app users (or customers) that stop using an app, cancel a subscription, or delete an app over a certain period of time. 

Churn rate is an essential metric to track for mobile apps as it plays a key role in other key metrics such as lifetime value (LTV), retention rate, profitability, and so on. For a mobile app to grow, the number of users staying on the app must be higher than the number of users that uninstall it. And for an app to be profitable, its churn rate must stay low.

How to keep track of all your key metrics?

Here’s how we can help

How to calculate churn rate?

Churn rate for mobile apps is calculated as follows:

Users at the start of a period – users at the end of a period / users at the start of a period

For example, if your app has 10000 users at the start of the month and 200 people uninstall it that month, your churn rate would be 2%.

How to use churn rate?

As mentioned, churn rate is essential to keep track of in order to understand the health of your mobile app. If you’re losing more users than you’re acquiring each month, you’ll eventually run out of users altogether, or have to continually spend more and more money to acquire new users and replace all the churned users.  Whether your churn rate is high will depend on your app, your vertical, your ability to engage and retain users and players, the competitive landscape, price points in your app, and several other factors.

As Andrew Chen highlighted years ago, most new app users churn quickly:

We can see that the average app loses 77% of its DAUs within the first 3 days after the install. Within 30 days, it’s lost 90% of DAUs. Within 90 days, it’s over 95%. Stunning. The other way to say this is that the average app mostly loses its entire userbase within a few months, which is why of the >1.5 million apps in the Google Play store, only a few thousand sustain meaningful traffic.

There are many reasons that a user may uninstall an app, as CED Commerce highlights:

The reason for churn can be different. There may be different reasons why users are uninstalling your app. Maybe due to the confusing or complex interface, or they have lost interest in using your app, or users are uninstalling your app because they do not have enough space in their device.

Another potential reason: you acquired poor-quality users to start with who really didn’t intend to install your app and had no intention of continuing to use it. Some marketing tactics work well in the (very) short term, but show they they’re simply pumping metrics at the expense of actual, sustainable, long term growth.

It’s also essential to monitor churn rate alongside other key marketing metrics in order to get a complete overview of the performance of your business and marketing efforts.

How Singular tracks churn rate?

As a leader in mobile attribution, Singular is designed to help marketers accurately measure and analyze the impact of their marketing efforts with solutions tailored to their business. 

In particular, Singular enables you to measure cross-platform performance across apps, web, SMS, referrals, email, and TV, and how many users are staying in your app with detailed cohort analysis, LTV analysis, and uninstall reporting.

Reporting on acquisition and re-engagement across platforms enables marketers to track and analyze customers across the entire user lifecycle, from the time they first sign up until the time they churn. 

With this data in hand, marketers can analyze and understand which touchpoints may be decreasing their overall churn rate. In short, by combining mobile attribution with marketing analytics, Singular provides accurate and timely results to  expose new optimization opportunities to maximize results.

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