Report: Apple still commands highest ad revenue, despite Android’s growing traffic

Rich-media and video ads, plus strong demand for app installs, keeps iOS on top

Android captured the majority (63%) of mobile ad traffic in Q4, but Apple retained its lead in revenue generation, according to the State of Mobile Advertising report released today by Opera Mediaworks.

Apple’s favorable position in Western markets, such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, helped it retain the lead. The report, which lays out quarterly trends and insights from the company’s mobile ad platform, notes that, in these markets, high-value rich-media and video-advertising campaigns are more common. Since iOS dominates in these markets, monetization levels are highest, with over 51% of revenue.

The iPad also continues to show remarkable monetization potential, accounting for nearly 13% of revenue, with a mere 5% of impressions.

Mobile app developers use ads to acquire users

The high volume of mobile app usage vs. mobile browsing in Western markets also drives a healthy user-acquisition market, according to the report. To acquire more users, publishers and app developers use direct response, or performance, mobile ads to drive app downloads.

The total spend for these types of campaigns has erupted over the past two years, but the cost-per-installation rate (CPI) has remained stable, and even slightly declined, in 2014, the report found.

Games category leaps ahead in both traffic and revenue in 2014

As seen in previous quarters — and even previous years — the Social Networking category received the most traffic (28.8%), while the Music, Video & Media category generated the most revenue (21.6%).

The Games category, though, was the big success story of the year. In 2013, it represented just 5% of impressions, but in Q4 2014 it captured a 14% traffic share. Revenue numbers were even more impressive, as the category grew year-over-year from 3% of revenue to 21.4% of revenue in Q4 2014.

Emerging global markets contend with North America and Europe

The United States still dominates the global mobile ad economy, with nearly a 44% share of impressions. But, other international markets are beginning to catch up, with Asia Pacific coming in second, at 26.1%. This is nearly twice the share of Europe, at 12.5%.

By the end of 2014, the non-U.S. Americas also emerged as a significant mobile advertising market, with a 9.8% share of impressions, led by Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Argentina. Africa, which had a tiny (1%) share at the end of 2013, grew to 4.8%, and South Africa and Nigeria now hold places in the top 10 countries, by impressions.

To see the full report, visit

About Opera Mediaworks

Opera Mediaworks is the first mobile ad platform for brands, delivering surprise and delight at scale. Our technology powers the biggest publishers in the world and enables marketers to provide the highest quality experiences to more people in more places when it matters most. Our exclusive Instant-PlayTM HD video technology and award-winning rich media touches, engages and creates deep interaction with consumers in the most popular mobile apps and sites around the globe. We work with over 90% of the AdAge Top 100 advertisers and 18 of the top 25 global publishers. A fully-owned subsidiary of Opera Software, Opera Mediaworks is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices worldwide. To learn more, visit