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Rich media ads on iPad outperforming iOS, Android devices

Rich banners and rich interstitials on the iPad are outperforming similar units on iOS and Android devices, according to a new in-application mobile rich media ad report from Medialets.

The rich banner units showed an 8 percent engagement rate for iPads versus 7 percent for iOS and Android devices, while rich interstitials recorded 12.5 percent on the iPad compared to 10.3 percent for iOS and Android devices.

?While mobile generates high performance overall, especially as compared to all other digital and traditional media, iPad rich media advertising generates engagement rates 15 percent higher than smartphones,? said the Medialets benchmark report for the first quarter.

Medialets is a leading mobile rich media ad platform enabling iPhone, iPad and Android app campaigns for publishers such as The Wall Street Journal, News Corp.?s The Daily iPad publication, CNN, WeatherBug and The New York Times, as well as Fandango. It is based in New York.

Lap tops
The so-called iPad Engagement Lift is the result of a few factors: a larger screen size versus phones, a sit-down experience, a platform that was born rich for content and advertising, and an audience that consumers more video, books and ads on the iPad.

Drilling by vertical, the benchmark report found that the engagement rate for rich expandable banners skew higher than other ad formats.

?This is due to the fact that expandable banners offer a pre-qualified audience by measuring engagement rate against the total number of expands rather than impressions,? the report said.

?Medialets? benchmark for expand rate on mobile rich media is 1 percent,? the report claimed.

Consumer packaged goods, at 32 percent, showed the highest engagement rate for rich expandable banners on iOS and Android apps. Automotive followed at 26 percent and retail and business to business at 25 percent.

Among other verticals, finance had a 24 percent engagement rate and entertainment 19 percent.

By contrast, the engagement rate for rich interstitials on iOS and Android devices was lower for most of the same verticals.

Automotive topped again with a 19 percent engagement rate, followed by travel?s 16 percent, entertainment at 14 percent and finance and luxury goods at 13 percent. CPG came in at 12 percent and beauty and fashion at 11 percent.

Time?s up
Time spent with a creative unit is also a key indicator of performance, as Medialets data for rich interstitials showed.

The duration of time spent with rich interstitials on iOS apps on the iPhone was 34 seconds, lower than the 30 seconds for the iPad.

?Though iPhone rich interstitials show higher duration compared to iPads, they were delivered with less frequency than iPad rich interstitials in Q1 2011,? the report said.

Viewed by vertical, luxury and travel continue to lead the way for the longest duration.

Engagement duration with luxury goods? rich interstitials on iOS and Android apps was 45 seconds, followed by travel at 41 seconds, entertainment at 32 seconds and CPG at 31 seconds.

Not far behind were automotive at 28 seconds, beauty and fashion at 27 seconds and finance at 24 seconds.

?It?s notable that each ad vertical is generating long interaction times that, when combined with high engagement rates, demonstrate exceptional value for brands,? the report said.

In this interview, Medialets CEO Eric Litman explains the reason for rich media?s performance on the iPad and why advertisers should take the tablet more seriously.

Isn?t it logical that the iPad ads will outperform smartphone ads given the real estate and different mindset of consumers when browsing?
There are a number of factors that make it logical for iPad ads to outperform smartphone ads.

The larger dimensions of the device, the mindset when using the device and the more affluent audience add up to a strong opportunity for advertisers.

That said, smartphones are still generating very high performance compared to online ads, and because of the very personal, one-to-one mapping between smartphones and individuals, there are a number of things advertisers can accomplish on those devices that don't necessarily work as well on tablets. 

The reality is that the intimate experience of smartphones and tablets drives high-value connections for brands.

Are we saying that advertisers should take the tablet more seriously? Can they also repurpose their online ads for the tablet?
Though it's still a small overall segment of mobile devices, it's important to recognize how incredibly quickly tablets were adopted by consumers, publishers and advertisers.

Part of what is so interesting about tablets, and one of the reasons brands really need to pay attention to the opportunity, is the device's versatility.

The tablet isn't just a complement to other media. It's a catchall for other media, and can offer both companion and replacement experiences for TV, print, radio, digital and mobile.

As such, tablets are an attractive and serious opportunity for any buyer who spends on any of those platforms.

The duration ? is that a function of novelty of experience or better creative and targeting?
Smartphones and tablets are generating long engagement times as well, driven both by the device environment that lends itself to user exploration and brands' understanding of that opportunity.

There likely is a boost for advertisers who are early on the platform, and it's something we strongly encourage brands to leverage today.

That said, we are over a year into this space and we have yet to see any meaningful decline in engagement rates or time spent in ads.

Importantly, there are other factors that set the stage for long-term impact, including intelligent ad placement and the creation of multifunctional ad units that incorporate features like sharing that draw on the popular uses of mobile devices.