IOS Devices Drive The Most Ad Revenue Globally, But On Smartphones Android Isn't Too Far Behind

iOS continues to be the mobile platform driving the most global mobile ad revenue, 50% in the second quarter of 2013, according to Opera Mediaworks.

  • Android devices, including tablets, claimed 28%.
  • Meanwhile, BlackBerry, Symbian, and a handful of others accounted for the remaining 22% of revenue.

In the same quarter the previous year, iOS held a 61% share of revenue generated, while Android claimed 27%.

Android and iOS are much closer when comparing revenue from just smartphones.

  • The iPhone accounted for 36% of ad revenue while Android phones accounted for just under 28%.

It should be noted that this data is exclusively from Opera Mediaworks, which is a large global mobile ad network, but one among many. Also, Opera’s data is a bit tilted toward North America. However, it can be taken as representative of broad trends in mobile advertising.

Click here to download the charts and data in Excel

Click here to see a larger version of this chart

What immediately stands out in the chart above is the 10 percentage point-dip in Android’s share of revenue generated during the third quarter of 2012. We asked Falguni Bhuta of Opera Mediaworks to explain this decline.

Bhuta says that during the second quarter of 2012 brands were buying Android impressions at the same rate as iOS impressions because Android was growing quickly, and they wanted to “test the waters”.

After seeing comparatively low engagement rates for ads on Android devices, brands reduced spend in the third quarter which is typically slow.

In the fourth quarter revenue from Android devices shot back up due to high demand for mobile ads across the board during the holiday season.

Bhuta says that this year, “Android buying is a lot more disciplined than last year.”

It’s a bit surprising that Android tablets aren’t driving significant mobile ad revenue yet on Opera’s network, while iPads drive 10% of revenue (iPod Touch drove 2%).

Why are Android tablets lagging? After all, Android tablets went from 24% of global tablet shipments early in mid- 2012 to 64% of global tablet shipments in the second quarter of 2013. It may be that there’s simply a lag between Android tablet sales and mobile ad revenue from those devices. Or it could be that Android devices are simply not being used to access the sites and apps generating mobile ad revenue.

In any case, we expect that revenue from Android tablets will begin to register in the next year.

Below is a look at the data with smartphones separated out from tablets.

Click here to see a larger version of this chart

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