Tablets Widen Lead Over Smartphones On Ad Click Costs

Tablets have the edge over smartphones on CPC (cost-per-click), the amount businesses pay for every click received on their digital ads. Tablets’ dominance extends to paid search, the text and link-based advertisements that appear above mobile search results. 

Advertisers compete fiercely for tablet users, who are believed to be relatively receptive to ads, and have been bidding up CPCs, especially at peak shopping times like back-to-school and the holidays. Smartphones get seasonal bumps too, but increasingly tablets are racing further ahead. Performics, a marketing company that is part of the Publicis Groupe, predicts tablet paid search CPCs will catch up to desktop CPCs before year-end 2012, and that smartphone ads will continue to lag. The reason? As more advertisers design mobile ad campaigns around specific devices, the competitive bidding for click values also has become disaggregated, to the detriment of smartphones. 

The chart below shows tablet and smartphone paid search CPCs as a percentage of desktop CPCs. In August 2012, smartphones commanded CPCs that were 51 per cent of those on desktops, tablets 88 per cent. 

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