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In-app ads drive more clicks than mobile Web units: report

A new report from Opera shows that in-application ads generate an average 1.53 percent click-through rate compared to mobile Web ads with a 1.12 percent click-through rate, pointing to the growing sophistication of in-app marketing.  

Opera?s new ?State of Mobile Advertising? report from the second-quarter of 2013 also found that standard in-app banner ads average a 0.39 percent click-through rate, while mobile Web standard ads generate a 0.32 percent click-through rate. The report also gives marketers insight into which verticals and categories perform the best with mobile advertising. 

?The mobile Web has always been a place for engagement because there is a larger amount of impressions,? said Mahi de Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks, San Mateo, CA.

?When you look at high-end smartphones and tablets, there is more usage in applications,? he said. ?What we are starting to see is engagement, particularly around rich media, and more sophisticated campaigns come from in-app advertising because you can do so much more with a SDK than you can do with a browser today.?

Best ad formats
To take a closer look at rich media, Opera?s study tested 378 mobile advertising campaigns that took place within the United States in May. Each campaign that was tested generated more than one million impressions.

According to the report, rich media ads performed up to 400 percent better than standard banner ads with click-through rates.

Given the richer opportunities available to marketers with in-app units, the study concluded that in-app ads perform 1.7 times better than standard mobile Web ads.

However, mobile Web claims a bigger chunk of overall campaigns running with a 3:2 ratio compared to in-app ads.

Banner ads are the No. 1 type of of ad format on Opera?s platform, representing 52 percent.

MREC ads represent 16 percent of mobile ad activity, and leaderboards generated 13 percent of mobile ad buys.

Tap-to-expand and mobile video interstitials are also growing for marketers. Each of these ad units generated six percent of mobile ad spend during the second-quarter of 2013.

Mobile ad war
According to the report, iOS leads the pack in mobile ad impressions and revenue, representing 44 percent of all ad impressions and 49 percent of revenue.

Android represents roughly 31 percent of traffic and 28 percent of revenue.

Interestingly, the traffic between Android phones and iPhones is equally split at 30 percent, but iPhones brought in 36 percent of revenue compared to Android?s 28 percent of total revenue.

When it comes to tablets, Apple?s iPad brought in 10.21 percent of revenue and 8.04 percent of traffic, which is greatly more than Android tablets with 0.66 percent of traffic and 0.32 percent of revenue.

Research In Motion, Symbian, Windows and others made up the remaining 25 percent of traffic and 23 percent of revenue, showing the continued dominance in iOS and Android for marketers.

Opera?s report also found that Apple is the top manufacturer with 43.8 percent of ad impressions served via its devices.

The second-largest manufacturer was Samsung with 17.1 percent of ad impressions. Nokia came in at No. 3 with 10.43 percent of manufacturing control.

Within Android specifically, Samsung represents 58.45 percent of market share, followed by HTC with 10.88 percent of market share. Motorola represented 8.7 percent of market share, and LG raked in 7.2 percent.

Mobile segmentation
Opera?s report also looks at which mobile site and app categories garner the most interest from advertisers.

Music, video and media consistently receive the most mobile ad impressions. Other impression-generating categories include the arts and entertainment category.

When it comes to revenue, the finance and investing and business categories receive the most revenue per impression, followed by arts and entertainment and music, video and media.

Travel, automotive, mobile content and entertainment were all advertising categories that generated click-through rates higher than 1 percent.

The United Sates continues to hold the greatest percentage of mobile ad market with 49.3 percent of market share. Similarly, three out of every four dollars in mobile ad revenue come from the U.S.

Other top countries in terms of mobile advertising include Indonesia, Britain, Italy and India.

The study points to a increase in mobile ad spend as brands continue to allocate more of their budgets to mobile.

In fact, Mr. Silva expects mobile advertising to grow faster than analysts expect.

?Compared to last year, we are seeing much more robust spend,? Mr. Silva said.

?2012 was somewhat more experimental, and we are starting to see mobile as an initial part of these agency budgets, which is reflective of brands willing to pump more money into mobile,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York