Advertising is a big part of the app industry, and among the advertising networks that keep track of just how effective those ads are is mobile ad company Millennial Media. The network’s most recent numbers show Google’s Android pulling down the most impressions of any mobile operating system, but also shows advertising impressions skyrocketing on Apple’s iPad.
TechCrunch has the story, which details Millennial Media’s report for the third quarter of 2011. In it, the company finds that Android accounts for 56 percent of total ad impressions – instances in which a person actually views an ad – across all mobile operating systems and devices. But Apple’s iOS operating system had the second-most impressions, dragging in 23 percent for the quarter.
Those numbers break down very similarly to numbers of iPhone and iPad owners as compared to Android device owners, with Android accounting for about half and iOS accounting for roughly 25 percent. But Apple’s devices remain the top “Connected” devices, meaning that among individual devices, the ones running Apple’s operating system continue to have the highest impressions. The operating system increased its total impressions by 60 percent, and the iPad in particular saw a huge uptick in mobile ad views with a jump of 456 percent over the same period a year before. By comparison, impressions on the iPod Touch increased 30 percent during the quarter over the same time last year. The iPhone accounted for more than half of all the ad impressions generated by iOS in the quarter, with 54 percent; the other 46 percent of impressions were split between the iPad and the iPod Touch.
As a category, smartphones saw 7 percent more ad impressions in Q3 as compared to Q2, and 37 percent over the same period last year. Smartphones led other mobile and connected devices and accounted for 72 percent of ad impressions for all of them in the quarter, with “connected devices” – TVs, for example – and feature phones both responsible for 14 percent of impressions for the quarter.
More games than ever
As has been a trend for a while now, Millennial found that gaming apps were responsible for the most ad impressions among mobile users. Games generated 34 percent of ad impressions from apps, growing 26 percent from the quarter before. News apps also experienced a lot of growth in generating ad impressions – 36 percent between Q2 and Q3.
Much of Millennial’s information confirms previous trends that have been apparent in mobile advertising, and also echo trends that seem to be constant within the mobile industry: lots of users have Android devices but iOS owners get more usage time out of their apps, and thus often more ad impressions. Games continue to be the apps that people are using, although the growth in impressions in news apps suggests that the providers of those apps are working harder to find an alternative to subscriptions, which reports suggest users aren’t willing to pay.
Apple’s devices are still in good shape in terms of ads, despite the fact that Android leads with more impressions, because devices like the iPad prove to engage more users more often. In order to keep that lead, Apple needs to keep doing what it has been doing, like maintaining quality apps on the platform that draw users to replace their other devices with things like iPads. Millennial’s numbers show that Android hasn’t found a good way to compete with the iPad and the experience it gives users. Improvements in iOS 5 and with the record-breaking iPhone 4S should help Apple continue to enjoy high ranking among advertisers, but the company had best continue keep one wary eye on Android.