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Android Surpasses iOS in Mobile Advertising Dollars

Android Surpasses iOS in Mobile Advertising Dollars

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Android has reached another milestone; for the first time, its operating system is getting more mobile ad traffic than iOS, according to a Q1 report released today by Opera Mediaworks. Just under 43% of all mobile ads for the first quarter of this year were delivered to Android devices, compared to 38% of ads which were sent to iOS devices. Samsung dominates the Android device market with more than 60% of impressions, trailed by LG at 11.11% of impressions.

While iOS devices still generate 52% of the total global revenue, Android is catching up with 33% of total revenue. The report states,”Although still trailing iOS in terms of monetization, Android is making slow advancement in that category, as well.” The results indicate their advancement; in Q1 of 2013, Android accounted for 27% of revenue. Most of Android’s gain has been at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian devices.

The majority of mobile ads are placed on phones for Android and iOS. Of Android’s 43% of the market lead, a whopping 41% of ads are delivered on phones vs. just 1.5% on tablets. iOS devices are distributed more evenly; of the 38% of its mobile ad traffic, 25% goes to iPhones, 10% to iPads, and 3% to iPod Touch devices. In terms of what drives the most mobile ad traffic volume, social networks generate more than a quarter of the impressions, taking the lead on this front. For revenue generation, arts and entertainment sites lead, replacing last quarter’s top spot of Music, Video, and Media.  Business, finance and investing content has the highest revenue per impression, holding that top position for more than a year now.

While Android leads globally, it does not lead in all markets. The report focused on the U.K. and it is one of the most advanced and unique mobile markets in the world, and the iOS system is a clear leader with 58% of ad impressions and 66.85% of revenue, compared to Android at 20.70% and 19.05% respectively. A unique aspect of the U.K. that makes it stand out, but not necessarily correlated to the major difference in trends, is its focus on rich media.

According to the report:

“Video ads are a key driver of rich-media success in the United Kingdom, where 30% of rich media advertising (13.4% of all mobile advertising) contains a video. This is significantly higher than the worldwide average, where 2.5% of advertisements contain a video. In addition, video advertising in the United Kingdom tends to be longer in duration than its U.S. counterpart. Based on research by the Mobile Marketing Association and shown in their “Mobile Video Benchmark Study 2013”, 56% of U.S. mobile ads are 15 seconds or less in duration. In the United Kingdom, our data shows that 67% of video ads are between 26 and 30 seconds long.”

Opera said that rich media ads are the most effective at capturing attention. It will be interesting to see how rich media integration into advertisements affects revenue generation moving forward and when this trend that has exploded in the U.K. will catch on globally. iOS and Android systems will remain neck and neck for mobile advertising and revenue generation; tactics like rich media incorporation may be what ultimately makes one dominate the global marketplace.