Buying app installs are generally referred to as giving money to an organization or service which in turn organically produces app installs for you so that it can be displayed in the top ranking charts at the Play Store (for Android), and consequently would in turn lead to more downloads due to the sharp increase in reviews and ratings.
One must make sure that it is done “Organically”, which basically translates to humans, not bots. This is because Google has various smart algorithms that detect weather a robotic machine or a real person is downloading your app.
A very good scenario based example to understanding and excelling via buying app downloads is to refer to the linking process between Google AdWords to your Play Store. Details such as target audience, number of people who do/do not have your app installed, geography, etc. are all captured by the machine learning technology of Google. Google creates cleverly customized ads to your target audience that relatively increases your app downloads and ultimately your rankings with top ratings on Play Store.
A major concept to cast bright light on the topic of buying app installs is that of App Store Optimization, or ASO in short. ASO is the exact replica of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but catering to the Play Store context of things. Talking about buying installs, it is basically defined as improving the visibility and scope of an app on the Play Store so that they rank among the top downloaded apps there.
ASO is analyzed using many components of your app page ranging from app title to screenshots, video, and even the keywords used while describing the app in the description module of the page. This is very positively referred to as “White-Hat ASO”. So obviously, you would have a “Black-Hat ASO” which refers to the illegal inorganic downloading of apps via bots and machine commands.
Delving deep into the concept of paying money to spread your app to a wider audience and assure yourself with a certain number of downloads per day, certain questions such as how the payment is made and how the money is generated certainly come into play. To answer these questions, you need to familiarize yourself with 3 basic models, CPA, CPM, and most importantly, CPI.
CPA is short for Cost Per Action, which basically means that the person who wants to publicize his app (commonly known as the advertiser) pays the publisher (person who publishes his ad to boost installs) for each specified action. An example can mean a single click, an install or even a form submit. CPM refers to Cost Per Mile, which very simply is the model where the advertiser pays the publisher for every 1000 times the article is seen by a person. Now CPI, short for Cost Per Install is one of the most widely used models in this domain.
CPI is actually a micro-version of CPA, where the action here is an install by a user. CPI rates go from 1-1.5$ to even 3-5$. This translates to paying 1-1.5$ for each install a person does from the publisher’s ad. However, once the ratings go through the roof for your app, your revenue with be auto generated and you won’t need to pay more for any of the above mentioned models.
In the end, buying app installs might be a good strategy if you really want to boost your app sales and monetize your hard work via the Play Store, but this is destined to succeed only if you can see the results statistically, and not otherwise.