Apple Tops Android In Mobile Ad Performance, But Windows Phone Still Leads The Pack

Mobile ad optimization platform Smaato, Inc. released the results of its mobile ad report for Q3 2011 today and found that, for the third consecutive quarter, Windows Phone (156) led the company’s “Smaato Index,” a measure of mobile operating system click-through rates. In second place was RIM (113), which has now overtaken both Apple (89) and Android (84) .

End users may not care about the click-through rates on ads – in fact, they may indicate the inability of a platform to offer monetization options through other methods, like paid apps or in-app purchases. However, for developers, high click-throughs may mean the platform is easier to monetize via advertising.

It’s not surprising that Windows Phone is leading in click-throughs, however. The OS’s install base is not large enough to support viable revenue generation through paid applications. And since Windows Phone Mango rolled out without the promised in-app purchasing support, it leaves developers – especially indie developers – with no other real options for monetization besides ads.

Smaato’s CEO and Co-founder Ragnar Kruse, of course, spins this as a positive in terms of the advertising possibilities on Windows Phone and Microsoft/Nokia’s opportunity to create a “viable third ecosystem.”

“Developers are advised not to overlook the Nokia/Windows combination as it might be a platform that is easier to monetize, will have less threats of piracy as it will be a more closed ecosystem, and will also offer more cohesiveness,” Kruse says.

The report also looks at mobile ad fill rates, which have now stabilized with just a 1% drop from the previous quarter. The findings suggest that seasonal factors were at play during the summer, as now, 13 out of the top 20 U.S. ad networks have performed above average at rates between 19% and 84%. Worldwide, the average rate was 10% (an 8% decline since Q2), but the range was wide – 19% to 84%.

Additional details including a look at mobile ad network response time and more are available in the full report here.

Note: The performance parameters in the Smaato Mobile Advertising Index are based on over 40.000 registered publishers managed ad requests in the third quarter of 2011 and over 70 connected ad networks delivering mobile advertising across 230 countries.