In Mobile Advertising, Does Size Matter?

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It’s the motion in the ocean that counts, right? Wrong. Well, at least that’s how it looks when it comes to mobile advertising. (Look out, inneractive infographic below!) If you take Google at its word, then 2011 has been the year of the tablet. Or in their words, this year tablets “went mainstream”. Sure, Google would say that, as the creator of a rapidly-propagating mobile OS, right? Well, with total number of tablets sold expected to get close to 60 million by the end of the year, I think we may be able to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, when it comes to advertisers and developers considering mobile platforms, the question of where revenue is going to come from — and just how much — is crucial. In terms of mobile apps, freemium is certainly here to stay, but mobile advertising, as you’ve heard, is growing like gangbusters, with U.S. advertisers expected to spend upwards of $1.23 billion on mobile advertising in 2011, a number that’s projected to increase to around $4.4 billion by 2014.

And, perhaps more importantly, the numbers show that nearly 80 percent of consumers are comfortable with or neutral towards mobile advertising. Of course, as adoption of smartphones and tablets continues at a record pace, for that comfort level with mobile advertising to remain high, Google’s research shows that users are increasingly expecting more interactive and touch-friendly ads on their mobile devices. That’s why, last week, Google launched new tablet-specific ad formats that “make it easy for advertisers to create rich media ads for tablets using existing assets (photos, logos, etc.)” and fire them out across mobile platforms.

This is great, yes, but advertisers and mobile developers want to know which platforms, OSes, and devices have the highest average click-through-rates, because high CTRs lead to monetization, and monetization leads to, well, happy developers, better ads, and hopefully happier consumers. As we saw in Sarah’s recent coverage, Apple has topped Android in mobile ad performance, but Windows is still leading the pack in Q3 mobile CTRs. And with Windows leading, while Mango “rolled out without the promised in-app purchasing support”, again, it’s all about ad monetization — especially for budding Windows developers.

So, as CTRs have become increasingly important for developers looking to monetize on mobile platforms, an interesting supplemental question has become: When it comes to the performance (CTRs) of mobile advertising, does size of the device matter? Or, in other words, should developers be turning their focus for this (and other) reason(s) to tablets?

Google holds that the audience is certainly there for tablets, and they (among others) are trying to walk the walk by developing optimized formats for advertising on all those tablet-y devices. In support of this, inneractive, a mobile app monetization exchange, has created an infographic to address whether or not mobile CTRs are higher for larger devices. Their research shows that advertisers (and developers) have a clear advantage when offering optimized ads for larger formats.

Thus, it seems that size does indeed matter when it comes to click-through-rates — and that we have yet another confirmation that tablets will be leading the way in 2012. In more ways than one.

In the end, we’d like to see results for more devices, but this is a great start. Check it out: