Russia emerges as mobile ad powerhouse as Android keeps growing

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The latest State of Mobile Advertising report from Norwegian web browser maker Opera shows a couple of interesting trends, including the emergence of Russia as a mobile advertising power and the increasing importance of Android as a mobile advertising platform.

The report, which is based on data from the Opera Mediaworks mobile ad platform during the last quarter of 2012, shows that mobile is accelerating as an advertising force. The fourth quarter of 2012, it says, represented more than a two-times increase in impressions and revenue to publishers compared to any other quarter in 2012.

Mobile advertsing Q4 2012

Of particular interest however is the rise of emerging market countries as mobile advertising powerhouses. While the majority of Opera’s ads are still served to North America, the portions are shrinking all the time. In the fourth quarter of 2012 its lead shrank to 64%, down from 70% in the previous quarter.

Non US mobile ad growth

The fact that Indonesia, Russia and India are all among the top five countries in terms of ad impressions suggests that emerging market countries are playing a serious part in eroding North America’s dominance.

Mobile ad impression percentages

One of the most noticeable growth markets emerging over the last few months is the Russian Federation. Towards the middle of 2012, Russia was number seven in Opera’s list of markets with the most ad requests. It is now number, after ad impressions increased over 60% from the end of Q3 to the end of Q4 2012.

This growth, says Opera, closely parallels the uplift in adoption of Android devices in the Russian Federation, which we saw rise over 22% in the same time period.

In fact, Android is becoming a much more significant player on the global stage when it comes to mobile advertising. Sure, iOS continues to outperform other device platforms when average eCPM and provides percentage of publisher revenue, but Android is now the leading mobile phone OS as measured by impression volume. The growth in Android impressions, Opera says, was partly driven by the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S III, a device that now accounts for 9% of all Android traffic.

Mobile OS impression percentages

Looking to the future, Opera reckons that the continuing increases in device capabilities will allow advertisers to come up with innovative new ways of advertising:

As smartphones proliferate and more consumers’ handheld devices contain features such as voice recognition, new-to-market gestures, social sharing and even augmented reality capabilities, the opportunity for creative ad units and campaigns appears limitless.

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