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Sports category generates increasing mobile ad revenue

The latest edition of the Opera State of Mobile Advertising Report for the third quarter of 2012 reveals how sports is rapidly growing as a category, driving mobile ad revenue; iPhone remains the top smartphone device in monetisation performance.

Opera Software has released the latest edition of its State of Mobile Advertising report that highlights key trends in mobile advertising worldwide in the third quarter of 2012. The report is based on data collected from Opera's subsidiaries - AdMarvel, Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising.

Sports category generates increasing mobile ad revenue
According to the study, much like what was revealed in the second quarter, iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, leads the rest when it comes to monetisation performance, with an average eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions) of US$1.64 across the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

iOS contributes an average of 46.37 per cent of the traffic and 58.40 per cent of the mobile ad revenue. Apple's three key devices - iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - contribute 30.43 per cent, 5.08 per cent and 10.81 per cent to the traffic and 34.38 per cent, 17.19 per cent and 6.83 per cent to the mobile ad revenue, respectively. And, with the iPhone 5 that was recently introduced, one might well expect Apple to continue the dominance going forward.

The Android OS seems to have lost a bit of steam with its eCPM of US$0.88, a fall from last quarter's US$2.10. It is noteworthy that the average eCPM of the iOS has fallen, too; from US$2.49 in the second quarter to the current figure. However, the eCPM of RIM (Research in Motion) has gone up to US$1.06 from US$0.64 in the second quarter, overtaking Android. Symbian continues to drop, though.

When it comes to publisher categories, Sports was the top category for mobile ad revenue. While the Business, Finance and Investing categories continue to generate more revenue per impression among all publisher categories, Sports and Music, Video and Media categories overtook the Business category in terms of total revenue.

The report notes that the trajectory of total social media impressions must be watched out for and with publishers in the category enhancing and optimising ad offerings, levels of monetisation is bound to rise accordingly.

The report finds that in the last quarter, apps generated more mobile advertising revenue than the mobile web. It states that apps took the top spot, generating 73 per cent of revenue within the Opera ad platform. The remaining 27 per cent came from the mobile web. Traffic measurement showed eight in 10 visits on the Opera ad platform came from mobile apps.

A geographical study reveals that across the Opera platform, North America (United States and Canada) continues to generate the vast majority of ad requests (70 per cent). Asia Pacific contributes 14 per cent of impressions.

When it comes to the top 10 countries by impressions, Indonesia, at No. 2, and India, at No. 5, are the only Asian countries to feature in the list. United States leads the pack, while the other countries include Canada (No. 3), United Kingdom (No. 4), Russian Federation (No. 6), Japan (No. 7), Mexico (No. 8), Italy (No. 9) and Australia (No. 10).

The latest edition of the report takes a detailed look at the United Kingdom, the best performing market in Europe ahead of Italy and France. It is noteworthy that mobile now accounts for 7 per cent of all digital ad spend in the UK and mobile ad spends grew 132 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2012.

While much like the rest of the world, UK mobile users' top mobile destinations are social networking, music, video and media sites and apps, they are less likely than their global counterparts to play games, consume content about computer and electronics and use their phones for sports information, and more likely to use their mobile to interact with content in the Arts & Entertainment and the Health, Fitness & Self Help categories.

Interestingly, while the rest of the world, particularly the United States, seems to be moving away from RIM's BlackBerry device, the adoption in the UK is still strong with the traffic nearly four times that of the US levels (53.9 per cent of the traffic in the UK comes from the BlackBerry).

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