Android Passes iOS on Mobile Ad Network

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Android devices have surpassed iOS devices for the first time in ad impressions on at least one mobile ad network. In its December 2010 Mobile Mix Report, Millennial Media reported Thursday that Android accounted for 46% of impressions served by the network during December of 2010, compared to 32% for iOS devices, marking the first time Apple’s platform has played second fiddle to Android on the network.

One network doesn’t necessarily represent all mobile ads, of course, but it is another example of Android’s growing numbers in the smartphone market.

Millennial Chart

Source: Millennial Media

The Power of Many

The report also clearly demonstrates that the power of Android is derived from the many and more manufacturers making devices with the OS. Apple was the number one manufacturer, with 20.96% of devices receiving ads from the network being iOS devices. The company had a strong lead over #2 Samsung (an Android maker), with 17.23% of devices, and #3 HTC (also an Android maker), with 15.3% of devices. RIMM was #4 with 12.13%

Looking at individual devices, iPhone was #1 with 12.45%, and iPod touch was #3 with another 6.47%. iPad was #8 with 2.04%. Again, the company’s individual device report shows the power in numbers, as the #2 device was not Android, but rather RIMM’s BlackBerry Curve with 6.5%. The number one platform doesn’t find a representative device until you get to #4 (HTC Nexus One (Passion) with 4.14%) and #5 (Motorola Droid with 2.84%).

Indeed, the vast majority of the Top 30 devices in the report are Android devices, but each has a very small percentage of the total number of devices, as you can see in the figure below.

Millennial Chart

Paid Apps vs. Ad-Supported Apps

One thing not mentioned in the report is the nature of Apple’s iOS ecosystem and Android’s ecosystem. Far more apps sold on Apple’s App Store are paid apps than on Android, where ad-supported apps are the norm for apps that aren’t simply free. This is likely to skew the growth of Android’s presence on many ad networks, though that doesn’t necessarily negate the fact that Android’s growth surpassed Apple’s during the second half of 2011.

In addition, Millennial Media is a third party ad network, and many iOS developers are turning to Apple’s iAd for ad-supported iOS apps. Again, this doesn’t necessarily refute Android’s growth, but it is one of many factors that will be contributing to the changing dynamics of the fast-evolving smartphone market.

Comments

b0wz3r

“One thing not mentioned in the report is the nature of Apple?s iOS ecosystem and Android?s ecosystem. Far more apps sold on Apple?s App Store are paid apps than on Android, where ad-supported apps are the norm for apps that aren?t simply free. This is likely to skew the growth of Android?s presence on many ad networks, though that doesn?t necessarily negate the fact that Android?s growth surpassed Apple?s during the second half of 2011.”

This blows this whole survey out of the water.  It clearly indicates the sampling is not representative, and therefore any claims made on the data to be invalid.

Anecdotally, this behavior describes me to a T.  I simply loathe those d**n little pop ups and will gladly pay the buck or two to get rid of them.

In short, this is just more FUD from Android.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

There are two things that strike me. One is that the #4 device is the Google Nexus One. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all over the Internet what a spectacular failure it was. Funnier still… nobody got a carrier subsidy for an N1, iPhone users.

The other thing is that people are actually able to acquire and use apps on these Android phones. The Android Marketplace is described in many places as “wild, wild, west”, disorganized, etc.

Tiger

I think it’s a dubious distinction that “ad impressions” are a metric. As a consumer, I find them to be nothing more than a nuisance and intrusion. I pay no attention to them, I’m never going to actually BUY something they’re selling. What a HUGE waste of bandwidth. I’d rather pay for the apps and have them not interfere with the user experience. Maybe I’m not the typical consumer, but I can’t imagine anybody really wants more ads!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Tiger, advertising is textbook case of why you pay attention to what people do rather than listen to what they say. And that’s what makes these metrics so valuable. They capture what people are actually doing, and they slice and dice things to figure out what they are actually doing them with.

Nookster

Must be because of all that HTML5 fragmentation I’m hearing about or something.

paikinho

Far more apps sold on Apple?s App Store are paid apps than on Android, where ad-supported apps are the norm for apps that aren?t simply free. This is likely to skew the growth of Android?s presence on many ad networks, though that doesn?t necessarily negate the fact that Android?s growth surpassed Apple?s during the second half of 2011.

I think I would rather pay for an app than be spammed and harrassed or intruded upon.

FlipFriddle

Seems like finding out that a phone has the most advertising would be the equivalent of a warning label. This is only a good thing for advertisers, and remember advertisers and mobile companies are Androids (Google’s) customers, not users, and these numbers bear that out.

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