When it comes to mobile ad pricing, iOS apps have long commanded a premium over their Android counterparts. A recent report from Opera Software
showed the iPhone and other iOS devices drive higher eCPMs and nearly twice the ad revenue of Android-based devices.
New data from mobile ad exchange Mobile today shows iOS advertising still gets top dollar, but that Android saw gains in pricing in the third quarter. From July to September, eCPMs for impressions on Android phones rose 26% from 34 cents to 43 cents, while those for iOS held roughly steady, with a slight increase from 70 cents to 72 cents.
Rates on Android tablets grew even faster, increasing 30% from an eCPM of 37 cents to 48 cents during the quarter, while rates on the iPad went up from 88 cents to 94 cents. What accounts for the uptick in Android pricing? Elain Szu, MoPub’s director of marketing, attributed the increase to factors including improved audience targeting on Android and standardization through the MRAID set of technical standards for mobile rich media ads.
The MoPub study showed that MRAID-compliant ads achieved an eCPM of 74 cents in September compared to 50 cents for non-compliant ads. “With Android devices, there are so many different screen sizes, with different resolutions, getting that standardization from MRAID probably helped” lead to higher pricing, she said.
The iPhone, however, remained the most popular device, with 3.5 bids per completed auction compared to the average of three bids across devices, including the iPad and Android phones and tablets.
In terms of ad formats, medium rectangles and smartphone banners (320 x 50) had the strongest gains during the quarter, with eCPMs for the formats increasing 42% to $1.09, and 20% to 60 cents, respectively. On the iPad, banners (728 x 90) rose 11% to 90 cents but those for full-screen interstitial ads dropped the same percentage to $1.76.
Looking at ad categories, health and fitness apps proved the most popular among advertisers during the summer months, with titles in that segment drawing an average of 4.8 bids per completed auction. That put it just ahead of news (4.2 bids), entertainment (3.5), games, (3.5) and social networking (3.3).
The overall number of winning bids on the MoPub exchange increased 162% compared to the second quarter, even with a growing supply of mobile ad inventory -- “in our view, an indication that advertisers understand the value of RTB in terms of being able to reach audiences in the moment they are accessing their applications,” said Szu.
The company says its third-quarter data reflects 20 billion monthly ad impressions a month on its real-time bidding system across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.