Cost-per-install mobile affiliate networks provide offers that pay based on a CPI model (per install). This provides opportunities for app developers, mobile media buyers and affiliates to make money promoting apps or games.

The advertiser is charged only when the app is installed by users, hence the model name ‘cost-per-install’. These types of offers have increasingly taken over from older types of mobile offers such as mobile content services, dating and subscription services.

With mobile commerce in areas such as travel, finance and retail still in the early stages in terms of the mobile affiliate market, cost per install apps and mobile game offers dominate the market and have delivered huge growth for the industry.

Since mobile advertising has grown, we have seen certain app marketing methods drive up in price, and one example of this is CPI. CPI, or Cost Per Install, is an advertising method that only charges advertisers each time their app is downloaded.

Whilst it’s hard to predict the absolute outcome of a certain mobile advertising method, we do predict a few changes to happen to mobile CPI in 2015. Firstly, as larger big brands with heavier marketing budgets jump into the app store game, (more of which are doing every week) we’ll see more money being flooded into certain app marketing platforms.

As a result, CPI is expected to increase in price, in some categories and countries massively. There are other mediums that more developers and publishers are getting involved with, and this will most likely negate most effects that are made to the cost of CPI in 2015.

One steadily growing advertising medium that is taking a portion of new advertisers is programmatic Real-Time Bidding. RTB is growing at a very fast rate, and it’s a medium that could potentially be a viable replacement for most other mobile advertising methods currently being used.

Another thing to factor in before making your decision on CPI advertising is that the CPI cost will differ across different app categories, and the amount of revenue you can earn per user will also change.

Interestingly, CPI installs for non-game apps has increased to a higher point than games, but the majority of in-app time is spent within games. On top of this, game apps are particularly easy to monetize with in-app purchases.

If you can effectively get turn your users into purchasers, CPI advertising could always be viable, but it’s a lot more risky than other mediums, such as RTB or other methods of programmatic buying.