iOS leads Android in engagement and monetization, says Opera State of Mobile Advertising report

by: J. Angelo RacomaApril 18, 2013
These mobile ads are so engaging, we can't take our eyes off of them. (Image credit: Girls reading on smartphone / Shutterstock)

These mobile ads are so engaging, we can’t take our eyes off of them. (Image credit: Girls reading on smartphone / Shutterstock)

The mobile industry is an interesting ecosystem, in that there are various mechanisms and trends at work. On one hand, you have volume and scale, which Android currently leads, having the biggest share of the market today. However, there are also other factors that come to play, such as engagement, monetization and revenue.

We have discussed engagement before, and have previously encountered the so-called Android engagement paradox. While Android is the leading platform in numbers, its main competitor, iOS, still leads in other metrics, including engagement and revenue. This is further validated by Opera’s latest State of Mobile Advertising report, in which iOS came out on top, in terms of both traffic and revenue share.

Opera State of Mobile Advertising Q1 2013

To illustrate, during the first quarter of 2013, Android got a traffic share of 31.26%, with a revenue share of 26.72%. Meanwhile, iOS got 44.53% traffic share and received 49.23% of the revenue.

A few other notable observations:

  • Opera notes that Android tablets are growing to a “small but noticeable share of the market.”
  • Android tablet traffic share is at 1.04%, with revenues at 0.49%. This is a far cry from the iPad’s 6.54% traffic share and 12.60% revenue.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S3 is dominant among Android smartphones, with 11% of Android traffic.
  • Music, video and media are the top sources of impressions and revenue.
  • Targeted campaigns perform better in terms of engagement and revenue.

The study was done across Opera’s advertising platforms, which includes AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, 4th Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance, which serve more than 50 billion ad impressions per month through 12,000 mobile websites and applications.

Again, this does not mean that Android is worse off than iOS, per se. Opera’s study simply indicates that iOS users are more likely to engage in visual ads, which in return lets publishers earn more from ad revenue. Given this scenario, though, publishers are more likely to optimize for iOS, given the higher revenue potential.

  • andr

    no big deal, android’s revenue is growing way faster. it will beat ios by q4 2013

    • kascollet

      Source detailing this “growth” ?

    • Tyler Cliq

      i hate iOS but there is a higher likelihood of iOS gaining on Android than the other way around. Android already outnumbers iOS devices 2-1 but they still get killed on net use and revenue. And with total dominance in tablets which won’t change (see iPod), a complete UI overhaul for iOS7, and the highly likely introduction of a budget series of iPhones I actually see iOS gaining market share and increasing its lead in revenue and net/ad engagement.

  • jimmyz

    Well its good someone is making money of Android none of the OEM’s are except Samsung

  • kascollet

    Even worse for Android’s monetization (based on a bigger sample) :

  • I can understand measuring revenue. But it’s stupid to measure engagement in ads. There is a good reason I don’t click on any ads. They irritate me. And i wish they weren’t here.
    So don’t blame us for not clicking on ads. iOs people are just dumber to click on ads or they see better ads that we don’t.

    So just don’t even use it as a measurement. If people are like me, then they feel ads are like spam. Popping up where they shouldn’t be

    • Tyler Cliq

      its not just ad engagement, iOS users for some weird reason use connected apps and internet way way more than Android users. Maybe because they have all their apps staring them in the face every time they unlock the screen. Only thing I can think of

      • kascollet

        Or maybe because “it just works” ?

      • Lol, I guess that could be a reason.

    • RarestName

      Sweeping statements aren’t nice, you know?

  • fixxmyhead

    what is it with AA posting shutterstock pix of hot white girls? anyways i like it

  • airtonix

    doesn’t optimisation for iOS create a feedback loop to support iOS? I mean if a team iOS creates both an Android and an iOS app, but favours UX appearance for iOS, surely the poor way in which iOS type UX translates to android will have a negative effect.

    tl;dr you create an ago for android but just copy and paste the iOS theme, then you’re confused about why engagement is poor on android?