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iOS is the king of mobile advertising, Android worse than BlackBerry

If you want your mobile ads to pack real punch then they’d better be on iOS. And while Android might be installed on more smartphones than any other OS, you’re better off going with BlackBerry.

That’s the skinny from the latest State of Mobile Advertising report by Norwegian software company Opera.

According to The Next Web, the company has some serious mobile credentials. Aside from the fact that its mobile browser is one of the most popular in the world, its mobile ads platform serves 10 000 mobile sites and apps and delivers over 40-billion ad impressions a month.

The report shows just how dominant the Apple platform is. The Cupertino-based giant offers a return of $1.64 eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions). That’s somewhat higher than the US$1.31 global average and nearly double Android’s average of US$0.88.

It’s also significantly better than RIM’s US$1.06 and Symbian’s US$0.37. Yup, that’s right, BlackBerry is a better proposition when it comes to mobile ads than Android. Despite being the world’s most popular mobile OS, Android also only delivers a quarter of traffic to Opera’s mobile ad network. Against the 46% that Apple delivers, that isn’t all that impressive.

The most effective device meanwhile is the iPad with a US$4.42 eCPM — ahead of the iPhone ($1.48) and iPod Touch ($0.82).

Given the dominance of iDevices, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that apps dominate adspend on the network. As The Next Web explains, that’s largely down to sheer volume of traffic: eight out of 10 people who visited the network did so via an app.

Opera reckons it’s on track to deliver US$400-million to its customers in 2012, way more than US$240-million it made in 2011.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
  • Richard

    It would be nice to see a breakdown of advertising results looking at the type of site that ads appear on. Too many bad decisions on mobile advertising these days are made based on very general stats that are thrown about. In South Africa the tech sector tends to use Android a lot, and people in this sector browse a lot but don’t click non-tech ads very often, and this will skew the stats.

  • Rob

    How exactly are you making the logic leap that a higher eCPM equates to higher ROI for the advertiser? (as your headline implies). eCPM in mobile is affected by supply and demand dynamics at a country level. Opera’s averages are global, which include: many developing markets where Android is much larger than iOS (or iOS is simply not present) which means (1) that those markets tend to have lower eCPM in general as a result of lower GDP/capita and (2) that supply of iOS is tighter in many of those markets, driving up the eCPM differential. Both of those dynamics would skew the average eCPMs.

    More fundamentally, in the absence of deep conversion metrics (which are still absent in mobile outside of app download ads), it’s a real leap of faith to say that higher eCPMs mean that an advertisers’ ads will “pack more punch”. It could, in fact, be the exact opposite. My experience has been that ROI of each platform is better in some countries and worse in others. These kind of sweeping statements in your blog really don’t help move the collective knowledge of the industry forwards.

  • Rob, I’d ask you to bear in mind that I’m reporting on the claims made by Opera. If you’d like to write an article arguing the case for why those claims are porblematic, we’d be more than happy to publish it on Memeburn.

  • I understand that this data is coming directly from Opera but there are so many fundamental flaws in the general, sweeping conclusions being reached here that it is difficult to take this article seriously (nothing against the author). First of all, a higher eCPM is not synonymous with a higher ROI for the advertiser – Rob is absolutely correct. Same with the problem of “global averages.” Some platforms have either dominant presences in some geographic locations, or none at all. That drastically skews such averages. I’m in the US and am a cross-platform developer who uses a multitude of mobile ad networks. Android is actually more profitable for me. Most of my friends and colleagues who use Airpush (an Android mobile ad network) say they are actually doing less and less with iOS because of the profitability shift toward Android. So I don’t really know what to make of this Opera data except to say that… it isn’t an accurate representation of what is actually taking place in mobile advertising today.


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