Web browser company Opera Software has released its first edition of the State of Mobile Advertising report that highlights key trends in mobile advertising worldwide, summarising its experiences as a leading mobile ad platform. The report, based on insights from the second quarter of 2012, looks at monetisation of mobile advertising from the perspective of devices, publishers, ad networks and advertisers.
According to the study, iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, clearly leads the pack among smartphone operating systems when it comes to monetisation. It is closely followed by Android, while Symbian and Windows lag way behind. The average eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions) ranges between iOS' US$2.85 and Windows' US$0.20.
The report thus indicates that devices with better features that allow more interaction between the advertisement and the device's functionality have better monetisation potential. It says that while Windows phones have most features of the Android and iOS devices, low user adoption has harmed their potential. iPad, on the other hand, ranks high when it comes to user adoption, particularly in user groups that are highly desirable to advertisers.
Advertiser insights show how the demand for tablet ad executions are already up 140 per cent from 2011, and tablets are poised to be an even more important part of the advertiser's strategy in the next six months.
The report states that rich media drives better customer engagement and rich media ads, particularly the ones that leverage the capabilities of more sophisticated mobile devices, drive CTR (click-through rates). According to Opera's Rich Media Index, 66 per cent of users that click through to a video complete the interaction, with an average dwell time of 52 seconds. Photo-taking capabilities warrant an even higher dwell time of one minute 25 seconds, and about half of the consumers continue to interact with the ad post-click.
Among publisher categories, business and finance is generating more revenue per impression, followed by games, says the report. The lowest among the categories is health and fitness. While Opera is optimistic about social networking being a major revenue driver, it expects the current trend to continue in the near term.
Among the countries that generate the majority of ad requests, United States and Canada lead globally with 73 per cent of the world's total. India ranks eighth among the top 20 countries by impressions, behind USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Japan, Italy and Mexico. The eCPM is also the highest in the North American region (US$1.98), followed closely by the European Union ($1.94), while the global average stands at US$1.90.
The report further suggests that using just one ad network is not sufficient. With performance varying significantly over very short periods of time, publishers and advertisers will need to use a strategic mix of networks to maximise profit and reach.