Android engagement paradox again? Opera says Android ad impressions growing, but more engagement from iOS

February 10, 2013
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Opera Android engagement

It’s the Android engagement paradox once again, folks. Remember how analysts once got puzzled with why Android has been on the rise in terms of numbers, but stagnant in terms of user engagement? Well, the phenomenon has manifested once again, this time in advertising, according to Opera.

In Opera’s State of Mobile Advertising report, the browser maker found that Android led all other platforms in terms of growth in advertising reach in the 4th quarter of 2012. In a total of 50 billion monthly ad impressions across 12,000 websites and apps in its advertising program, Android accounted for the highest growth in the number of impressions. However, iOS brings in more engagement, such as users that click on mobile ads, as well as conversions or actual sales directly resulting from these ads.

“When it comes to monetization, iOS continues to outperform other device platforms. It leads the group with the highest average eCPM and provides the greatest percentage of publisher revenue,” Opera explained in its report. Android gets 31% of traffic and 30% of revenues. iOS gets about 42% of mobile device traffic, but dominates earnings with 51% of the revenue earned. The iPhone itself gets 37% of income from Opera’s ad network.

In terms of traffic share, though Android devices trump the iPhone, but the iPhone still gives the most monetary returns compared to other platforms.

Opera Android engagement 2

Here are a few notable observations, shared by The Next Web.

  • Opera considers this quarter an important one for statistics, as it includes the 2012 holiday season.
  • The growth signifies an increased usage of “more sophisticated devices,” which include the Samsung Galaxy S3 (which accounts for 9% of all Android traffic). This might dispel the thinking that the Android engagement paradox is due to the mass proliferation of inexpensive and poor-performing Android devices, which heavily dilute the mobile browsing experience.
  • Opera is popular in emerging markets in Asia and Africa, given its data-saving feature as among the platform’s highlights (adding to the fact that Opera offers browsers for non-smartphone platforms, too).
  • Opera has 229 million mobile browser users around the world, and ad revenues from North America has dropped from 70% in Q3 2012 to 64% in Q4 2012. However, this may not necessarily mean a nominal decrease in use from North America, but rather an accelerated expansion internationally.

Again, there is question on how to explain this so-called paradox in which Android devices are on the rise, but iOS still retains the top spot when it comes to monetization and conversions. Is iOS more of a marketer’s dream, in that iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users are more likely to click on ads, make e-commerce purchases and spend money online than Android users? Are Android users necessarily out for free content and apps, and not so keen on paying for purchases online?

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