Opera: iOS trumps Android on ad monetization, Windows Phone far behind


Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS leads all smartphone operating systems on mobile advertising monetization performance with an average eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions) of $2.85, according to Opera Software's first State of Mobile Advertising report.

Click here to view the series of charts from this report.

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android follows iOS with an average eCPM of $2.10 across the Opera mobile ad platform. From there, the dropoff is steep: Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry generates an average eCPM of just $0.64, followed by Symbian at $0.59 and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone at just $0.20.

"This indicates that devices with better usability (i.e., larger screen size, touchscreen) and those with features that allow more interaction between the advertisement and the device's functionality (e.g., click to call, expand, play video) have better monetization potential than less capable and less user-friendly devices," Opera states. "We also see the importance of device market share in encouraging advertisers to target particular devices. Windows phones have most, if not all, of the advanced features of Android and iPhones, but low levels of user adoption stifle its performance."

Opera notes that Apple's iPad tablet yields an average eCPM of $3.96, adding "iPad epitomizes the user-friendly device with large, touchscreen interactivity, as well as other features that enhance the user experience."

Opera also reports that rich media ads, in particular those that leverage native device capabilities like HTML and camera interfaces, drive click-through rates and improved customer engagement. For example, 66 percent of users that click through to a video will complete that interaction, averaging about 52 seconds with the ad in question.

Among all publisher categories, Business & Finance sites generate 30.84 percent of all Opera mobile ad revenues despite yielding just 6 percent of all impressions. News & Information sites follow at 14.67 percent of revenues and 13.58 percent of impressions, trailed by Arts & Entertainment at 13.88 percent of revenues and 9.16 percent of impressions. Social networking accounts for 22.05 percent of impressions but 12.47 percent of revenues.

The North American market drives 73 percent of all Opera mobile ad requests, with the European Union next at 13 percent. The U.S. also leads on eCPM at $1.98, edging past the EU at $1.94. Both are ahead of the global average of $1.90.

Opera launched its Open Mobile Ad Exchange in late 2010, almost a year after purchasing mobile advertising network AdMarvel. This past February, the browser maker acquired mobile ad networks Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising. Last month, Mobile Theory revealed its revenues have increased 250 percent since the Opera deal was completed--its network now reaches 350 million global subscribers and generates 40 billion impressions per month.

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