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Mobile advertising gap widens between Android and iOS

A new report from mobile advertising tech company Velti reveals that Android’s mobile ad share has dropped again this year, falling from 41 per cent in May 2012 to 36 per cent in May 2013.

The “state of mobile advertising” report reveals that, over the same period, mobile ad share leap-frogged for iPhone and iPad – up from 20.4 per cent to 27.5 per cent and from 13.4 per cent to 17.1 per cent respectively. Apple launched its new iPhone 5 to a blaze of publicity during this period, and it alone accounted for 7.9 per cent of all the ads shown on Apple mobile devices. By contrast, the Galaxy SIII from Samsung, which sold over 30 million units in the first five months after its launch in May 2012, only mustered 2.3 per cent of total impressions.

A real mobile advertising trend?

Anyone holding media jobs in mobile advertising agencies will be curious about what this trend really represents.  The year-on-year figures supplied by Velti, it claims, “provide a highly accurate picture of the market”, revealing key insights into how different mobile devices are being used by consumers. Given that the data was collected from a sample size of gargantuan proportions (network giants supply hundreds to hundreds of thousands of apps on literally hundreds of millions of mobile gadgets), that’s a sound point. It’s possible to infer pretty accurately which platforms are being used by which people from data of this magnitude.

And what emerges from the figures is the ongoing (and widening) divergence between Android and iPhone: consumers seem to be using their iOS and Android devices differently, at least in the US. Velti’s data, however, is definitely skewed toward usage in North America and Western Europe – a different picture may well have emerged if Asian and Indian mobile users had been included.

Is the advertising crown slipping from games?

Another noteworthy trend that appears to be developing also has implications for mobile advertising campaigns: games remain enormously important in the app marketplace but the times may be a-changin’, to misquote Bob Dylan.  Games account for half the apps on a platform and half the downloads but, according to Velti, between May’12 and May’13, game impressions fell by 15 per cent, while books and entertainment apps each leapt by 7 per cent.

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