Retail Top Mobile Ad Category In 2012

Record election-year spending proved a boon to virtually all media last year, including mobile. Buoyed by campaign ad dollars, government services was the fastest-growing ad category on the Millennial Media mobile ad network, up 860%.
The company does not provide actual dollars, so it’s difficult to assess how much was spent per category, according to a new report. But government services represented only 2% of campaigns overall on the network.

Other ad segments that led in growth in 2012 included employment, up 523%, travel (495%), personal and home services (461%) and health, fitness and wellness (281%). Retail and restaurants took the top spot among ad categories overall last year -- displacing finance, which fell to fourth. Rounding out the top five was entertainment, telecom and automotive.
Retail and restaurants also accounted for the most campaigns on the network, at 16%. Telecom, finance and “all other” categories each represented 14% of campaigns, followed by entertainment, with 12%, and travel, 9%.
App download was the most popular type of post-click interactive feature on Millennial’s network in 2012, used in 37% of campaigns, followed by site search (29%), store locator/map (21%), subscription (19%) and social media (18%).
When it came to campaign goals, the bulk (39%) of ad efforts were focused on sustaining an in-market presence. Brand awareness and driving site traffic each accounted for 14% of ad objectives, followed by product launch and registrations, each 12%, and boosting foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations (10%).
Games was again the top mobile app category based on impressions. Music and entertainment, social media, communications, and productivity and tools were also among the most popular. The last was the only change from 2011, with productivity apps moving up to No. 5 from No. 8.
The balance of power among operating systems on the ad network remained largely unchanged from last year, with Android claiming 47%, iOS, 33%, and BlackBerry, 16%. Among device types, there was more change, with smartphones expanding their share of impressions to 75% from 68%. The share of connected devices also grew, from 15% to 20%, while that for feature phones shrank from 17% to 5%.
Among tablets, iPad was the dominant device, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Kindle Fire, Acer Iconia and Motorola Xoom.
Millennial says its network reaches more than 400 million unique users worldwide, including some 160 million in the U.S. More than 39,000 apps can serve ads through the platform, and the company has developed more than 350 million anonymous user profiles.
In its annual report filed with the SEC last month, Millennial said 85 of the top 100 advertisers as ranked by Ad Age used its ad network, spending a total of $70.8 million in 2012, up from 75 spending $53.4 million in 2011. That translated into average spending among top advertisers of $833,000 compared to $712,000 in 2011.
Millennial reported a net loss of $6.8 million on revenue of $177.7 million for the full-year 2012, up 71.4% from $103.7 million in 2011.

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