As we launch into 2015, it’s safe to say that two things are certain: Android and social media.
As revealed in today’s release of our Q1 State of Mobile Advertising report, not only Android dominate traffic volume in 2014, it also started to make more money than iOS. The shake-up started in the first quarter of 2014, when Android took the lead over iOS as the top platform for traffic, and continued in the first quarter of 2015 when Android crept past iOS to become the leader in revenue generation across the platform.
While the change undoubtedly challenges the traditional belief that iOS applications make more money for mobile developers than Android applications do, don’t count iOS out just yet. In terms of monetization potential, that is, the ratio of revenue to impressions, iOS still leads among all device platforms. And within iOS, it’s the iPad that stands at the top for highest revenue generated per impression by device/platform combination. In fact, its monetization share in Q1 was more than 4X its traffic volume.
It is important to note, however, that Android tablets are gaining momentum, as revenue increase this quarter to now be just over par with their traffic volume. And a large part of the reason Android devices have not reached higher monetization levels? Because those devices have a larger share of their impressions from markets where advertising rates are well below the standard rates in the U.S. or Western Europe. So expect the upward trend in Android monetization to continue, especially as mobile continues to expand.
Mobile expansion and adoption has also supported the ongoing globalization of the mobile advertising market. While the U.S. is still the frontrunner in terms of traffic and revenue generation, there has been a serious expansion of mobile advertising in Asia, the Americas and Africa. And video advertising appears to be growing at a particularly rapid rate across multiple geographies. In the U.S., the market share of video ads is 2.5X its share of total reach of users, meaning that American consumers are viewing substantially more video ads than consumers in the rest of the world.
In tandem with the expansion of mobile advertising has been the continued rise of Social Networking. Not only do Social Networking apps continue to reign supreme in terms of total traffic, they have also edged out Music, Video and Media to become the largest revenue producer. And part of that reason can likely be attributed to the evolution in consumer appetite.
According to a 2014 Pew poll, nearly half of adults who use the Internet report getting their news from Facebook. It’s another reminder that the way Americans consume information has fundamentally changed.
And, with this change, companies such as LinkedIn have discovered opportunity. A few weeks ago, the business-minded social networking site revealed Elevate, a paid mobile and desktop app that suggests articles to its users — based on algorithms from its news recommendation services Pulse and Newsle, as well as “human curation” — and then lets users schedule and share those links across LinkedIn and Twitter, with the aim to add more networks like Facebook over time.
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