Social Media, Locator Features Increase In Mobile Ads

App install ads have become a big money maker in mobile for companies like Facebook. Now, Yahoo is getting in on the act by rolling out its own version of the format. The popularity of mobile ads promoting downloads is underscored in new data from Millennial Media, which shows a third (34%) of all campaigns on its network teased app downloads in 2013.
That made downloads the most common type of post-click action in ads last year, followed closely by the option to search an advertised site (29%). The latter is an especially popular feature of mobile ads from automotive brands, appearing in three quarters of their campaigns. But the proportion of campaigns pitching app downloads and site search were about on par with 2012.
The biggest change was in ads featuring social media elements, store location/mapping information, or hawking subscriptions. Campaigns with post-click actions involving social media increased to 18% from 8% of the total, while those with store locators increased to 23% from 12%, and subscription-focused ads jumped to 19% from 8%.
Retailers were most likely to use the store locator feature in ads (29% of campaigns), while CPG companies were most apt to rely on social media (19%) as a tactic for enticing users. Financial services companies were the most active in advertising for sign-ups, at 27%. Think off all those credit card and discount brokerage ads.
Entertainment was again the top vertical on the Millennial ad network in 2013, in terms of spending, followed by retail, telecom finance and consumer goods. The fastest-growing, however, was sports, where spending shot up 489%. The company doesn’t reveal spending by category, so it’s not possible to see what the base level was for sports in 2012.
Other verticals that saw strong gains last year included employment (up 209%), energy and power (196%), nonprofits (170%), pharmaceuticals (139%), and consumer goods (134%).
When it comes to mobile platforms, Android increased its lead over iOS in 2013 in share of mobile ad impressions to 54% from 48%, while iOS slipped to 32% from 38% in 2012. BlackBerry plunged from 16% to 7%. The split of impressions by device didn’t change dramatically last year, with smartphones claiming 75%, up from 72%, and tablets increasing share to 24% from 20%. Impressions generated by feature phones shrank further to 4% from 5%.
It should be interesting to see this year whether the roughly 75%/25% split between smartphones and tablets remains constant through this year, suggesting tablet growth is leveling off after years of strong gains. Tablet shipments worldwide are expected to slow to about 19% from 52% this year, according to an IDC forecast.
Separately, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan issued a research note this week indicating Millennial Media  plans to step up selling native, video and rich media ads in addition to standard mobile banners. And, through its purchase last year of Jumptap and partnership with AppNexus, it can cross-sell mobile and desktop inventory.
With Google already dominating mobile advertising, and Facebook readying its own third-party ad network, the mobile ad market is more challenging than ever for Millennial. The company’s stock closed at $7.35 Friday, well below its 2012 IPO price of $13 a share



3 comments about "Social Media, Locator Features Increase In Mobile Ads".
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  1. Anni Paul from BoscoSystems, March 23, 2014 at 6:56 p.m.

    Wow, Millennial Media is going to get into native ads??? What took so long? I guess they finally stopped chocking on all the dust that Airpush and InMobi kicked up when speeding past Millennial Media in this race ;)

  2. Ajith Kumar DV from Cap, March 25, 2014 at 6:57 a.m.

    Reengineering, reinvent, reinvest is the only matra in the media market now!!

  3. Michael Walker from, LLC, April 7, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.

    The "biggest change" in Ad spend you write about is interesting given Apple's App Store goals for its App customers. Apple likes Apps that offer Native functionality, versus content tabs especially on the home screen of an App. Your data, along with industry data, seem to suggest that users are spending significant time with their Apps. Scrolling through them, figuring out how to use them and looking for the information they want - where they want it.

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