Millennial Media: Apple OS Drops By 33 Percent In May But iPad Impressions Grow 160 Percent

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Mobile ad network Millennial Media, which claims that its network reaches 82 percent of 72 million mobile web users in the U.S., is reporting that iPad ad requests grew 160 percent from April to May with global Apple ad requests dropping 33 percent in May. Apple OS U.S. ad requests dropped by nearly 14 percent month-over-month after an 8 percent decrease in requests in April.

That being said, the Apple OS is still the leading mobile operating system in Millennial’s U.S. network, with a 48 percent share of Smartphone impressions. RIM’s BlackBerry remained the second largest OS on Millennial’s network for the tenth consecutive month with a 3% increase month-over-month and a 19 percent share of impressions. Android’s share rose by 5 percent to a 15 percent share of impressions for the month of May.

Android total ad requests grew by 15 percent in May, which is slower growth than the OS has seen. Last month, Android saw a 77 percent jump in impressions, and a 72 percent jump in May. But the jump in impressions for Android over the past six months is staggering, with requests having grown by 338 percent since January.

Android Smartphone manufacturer, HTC received the largest share increase month-over month for the second month in a row with a 2.5% impression share increase in May, rising to the fourth spot of the Top 15 Manufacturers. Apple leads the manufacturing list but dropped by 10 percent in terms of device impressions. In terms of type of device, the majority of ad impressions took place on smart phones (46 percent), with Feature Phones seeing 35 percent of ad impressions, and Connected Devices, like the iPad, seeing 20% of impressions.

Millennial added a new measurement this month, focusing on mobile developer channels and trends. For May, Gaming apps placed in the number one spot and accounted for 58 percent of app revenue on devices. Social Networking claimed the number two spot and experienced a 124 percent growth on Millennial’s network since the beginning of 2010. The Entertainment channel, which placed in the number four position, has experienced the largest percentage of growth in 2010 – a 648 percent increase since January and is expected to grow with the summer blockbuster movie season. In May, of the developers who focused on a single platform, 56% were focused on Apple and 29% were focused on Android.

If Millennial’s numbers are accurate, Android impressions may be slowing down in terms of growth. Of course, we need to see another few months of slow growth before determining making any definitive judgements but it should be interesting to see if Android’s growth plateaus. The significant growth in iPad impressions is also significant as the device is growing in usage.

As one of the largest mobile ad networks in the arena, Millennial has been seeing strong growth, just launching an iPad SDK, and is now one of the largest mobile ad networks in the space. The Baltimore-based startup is growing; in February Millennial Media acquired mobile metrics and analytics firm TapMetrics. Additionally, the ad network raised $16 million in Series C funding last November.

However, with Apple’s iAd platform entering the mix, the mobile ad network space may be facing some significant changes. At the moment Millennial seems to be in a good place with Apple’s new iAd policies on outside networks advertising on the iPhone. But Millennial’s future may be in question if the network is looking to be acquired by a major tech giant, like Microsoft. But the FTC is reportedly looking into Apple’s iAd policies to determine if they are anti-competitive, so an big exit for Millennial could still be a possibility.

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