Latin America is fastest-growing mobile ad market

Mobile-ad impression growth in the region led by Mexico, Brazil and Argentina

Latin America (LatAm) takes the lead as the fastest-growing mobile ad market globally, now capturing nearly 8% of the global market, based on data from Opera Mediaworks’ global mobile ad platform that reaches over 1.1 billion consumers each month. In addition, three LatAm countries – Mexico, Brazil and Argentina – are now in the company’s Top 10 list of all countries by mobile ad traffic.

The report, which was created in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), showed several distinct regional trends in monetization, ad formats, OS share and mobile media-consumption patterns.

Monetization growth is promising

On top of being the fastest growing region globally, Latin America also has the highest monetization potential, compared to other emerging markets (Asia Pacific and Africa). Mobile ads served within the region generate more revenue per impression than either of these two regions, with a ratio of 1 to 0.87 (global average is 1:1). When narrowed down to just the top five LatAm countries, the discrepancy drops even lower, to a ratio of 1 to 0.92.

In-app and video-ad formats deliver performance, revenue

Globally, 55% of ad impressions are delivered within apps, and, in Latin America, that share is lower, at 30% – though partially attributed to the below-average level in Brazil (18%). Still, revenue levels within apps are proportionally higher, at nearly 40% for LatAm overall and over 45% for the LatAm top five countries. Video ads, with their high engagement rates and revenue capabilities, continue to grow in popularity. Brazil, Colombia and Chile all have high ratios of video impression share to a total impression share of more than 1:1, with Chile the clear leader at nearly 4:1.

Android is the top OS

More than 8 out of every 10 mobile users (80.7%) in Latin America have mobile devices with the Android operating system, followed by iOS at 14.1%. While just 5.2% of users are on “other” operating systems (e.g., BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian, Java), the number of impressions per user on these OS’s is significantly higher than the global averages.

Sports is no. 1 for mobile consumption, but not revenue

In Latin America, mobile traffic (as measured by ad impressions) to Sports sites and apps is nearly 3X that of the global average – 42.1% vs. 14.6%. However, the revenue earned from Sports impressions is not proportionate to the impression volume, hovering in the 10% range. 

“Sports might be the most popular category for Latin American mobile consumers, but they tend to seek fast information, like the score of a football match and are less likely to engage in advertising,” observes Gaston Bercún, Co-President, Opera Mediaworks LatAm. He adds, “We found, however, that Entertainment, while having lower traffic volume, monetizes really well because users are in a ‘want’ state and engaging more deeply with the mobile content. They pay far more attention to the ad messaging and are responding positively to long-form ad creative.” 

Other key demographic and mobile behavioral findings from the report:

  • Male-female ratios: Among the top five countries, the gender split is fairly close, typically around 50/50. Mexico shows a slight lean toward men, with 59.7% male and 40.3% female.
  • Days of active use: Argentina and Chile have more “high frequency” users, meaning they engage with mobile content 5-7 days per week. Colombia has a larger portion of “low frequency” users, with 53% engaging just 1-2 days a week.
  • Games and social networking: After Sports, the Games category receives the most traffic, with a 22.9% share – more than 4X the global share. Social Networking is no. 3, accounting for 17.7% of impressions – though less than the 31.5% seen on a global level.

Fabiano Destri Lobo, Managing Director of MMA – LatAm, commented on the findings, “Mobile is the closest you can get to your consumer, and now we have empirical evidence that allocating your marketing mix effectively also generates better branding, greater buy intent, conversions and sales.”

To see the full report, visit


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About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade mobile marketing association comprised of more than 800 member companies, from nearly fifty countries around the world. Our members hail from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement. Anchoring the MMA’s mission are four core pillars; to cultivate inspiration by driving the innovation for the Chief Marketing Officer; to build the mobile marketing capabilities for the marketing organizations through fostering know how and confidence; to champion the effectiveness and impact of mobile through research providing tangible ROI measurement; and advocacy. Additionally MMA industry-wide committees work collaboratively to develop and advocate global best practices and lead standards development.

Mobile Marketing is broadly defined as including advertising, apps, messaging, m-commerce and CRM on all mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Members include American Express, AdChina, Colgate-Palmolive, Dunkin’ Brands, Facebook, Google, Group M, Hewlett Packard, Hilton Worldwide, Kellogg Co., L’Oréal, MasterCard, McDonalds, Microsoft, Mondelez International, Inc., Pandora Media, Procter & Gamble, R/GA, The Coca-Cola Company, The Weather Company, Unilever, Visa, Vodafone, Walmart, xAd, Zenith Optimedia and many more.

The MMA’s global headquarters are located in New York with regional operations in Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), Latin American (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC). For more information about the MMA please visit


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