Android Takes Top Spot in Mobile Advertising

by Matt Klassen on April 23, 2014

It was the last bastion of worldwide mobile dominance for Apple’s iOS, the long time leader in global mobile advertising traffic. But try as it might to maintain its position atop the advertising world iOS simply couldn’t hold off Android any longer as Google’s mobile operating system has officially surpassed Apple’s platform, securing the largest percentage of ad impressions for the first quarter of 2014.

In a survey of the worldwide mobile advertising sector in the first quarter of 2014, Opera Mediaworks found that Android’s share of the mobile traffic was 42.8 percent for all devices, particularly smartphones and tablets. That stat was up from 37.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. During that same time the survey found that iOS’ share of the mobile advertising sector fell from 43.4 percent in 2013 to 38.2 percent.

While there’s no doubt that such news is a delight to Google, a company that has tethered its entire mobile revenue stream to advertising, there is one stat that will likely give Apple some peace of mind: iOS still leads the advertising market in the one place it matters most, revenue.

In a strange statistical quirk while Apple’s iOS may have lost top spot as the world’s most popular advertising platform it hasn’t lost the top spot as top global money maker, accounting for 52.2 percent of all mobile ad revenue for Q1. According to the report Android took a distant second place in this category with only 33 percent of the revenue pie, although that number did climb from 26.7 percent in Q1 2013.

Another piece of good news for Apple is that while Android did take top spot in total mobile ad impressions, in large part it wasn’t at the expense of iOS. In fact, Android’s strong gains in this market came from nabbing market share from mobile lesser lights like Blackberry and Symbian. Although Symbian OS is no longer supported by Nokia, it still holds a 5.8 percent share of the advertising market, well above Blackberry’s stake at just over 1 percent.

It should come as no surprise to hear that within the Android ecosystem Samsung was responsible for the highest percentage of ad impressions with 60 percent. As evidence of the disparity within in the Android family, LG came in a distant second place with 11 percent, Motorola in third with 5.7, HTC with 3.3, and ZTE with 2.5 percent respectively. All other Android device makers accounted for the remaining 17 percent.

Android’s gains on iOS in the mobile ad market will almost certainly help the open source platform gain increased traction among developers as well, for despite Android’s massive popularity developers have long been more interested in programming for Apple given the higher revenues generated. “It used to be that developers focused on iOS first,” Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva explained, and indeed apps and game makers still do. “We’re starting to see they’ll be equally compelled to come out on both platforms.” Certainly good news for Google and for Android users around the world.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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