While Apple has always led for monetization potential, or the ratio between impressions and traffic volume, in early 2015 it slipped behind Android for total revenue generated on our global mobile ad platform. However, this quarter, iOS is back in full effect as it again takes the lead for overall revenue generation, with a 52.1% share compared to Android’s 44.4%.
Looking more closely at the traffic and revenue breakdown by device, it appears that a surge in high-value impressions on the iOS tablet (the iPad) was what pushed iOS back to the top position. In Q3, the iPad captured an 8.3% share of the market – which though it is a jump up from its traffic volume the past few quarters, it is not, by any means, the highest it has been. However, the value of inventory on iPads have steadily increased since this time last year to now reach a peak of 20.3% share. Android, meanwhile, has also been steadily climbing, but monetization potential is not at the level of iOS.
See the chart below for a historical look at the impressions and revenue of iOS and Android tablets:
We find these trends so fascinating because consumer (and analyst) attitudes toward the tablet industry has been so up and down over the past few years – at some points, highly bullish about their adoption and, at others, hesitant, like in these reports from IDC and Gartner earlier this year.
Why are iPads so valuable when it comes to advertising? The Q3 State of Mobile Advertising report found that it is because video formats perform best on tablets, likely due to the high-resolution, full-screen experience. Tablets also tend to be used for entertainment and in the evening hours for “lean back” media consumption, which is when consumers show more propensity to enjoying and interacting with ads.
And, as you can see in the chart below, iOS outpaces Android tablets for monetization. iPads perform significantly better with video advertising than both Android and the general market, so as the volume of video campaigns (and impressions) goes up, so does revenue.
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