In Mobile Ads, iOS Is Still The Most Valuable Platform; Apps Drive 73% Of All Revenues, Says Opera

We’re seeing a lot of evolution and growth in the world of mobile ads — Facebook’s recent introduction of ads into its mobile platform being one key development — but some stats are proving harder to budge. The internet browser company Opera today released its latest State of Mobile Advertising report, which indicates that, despite the growth of Android and other platforms, iOS continues to dominate when it comes to monetizing mobile ads. And despite all the effort that has been put into mobile web sites, the majority, nearly 73%, of all mobile ad revenues are coming from mobile apps.

The report is based on traffic across Opera’s own mobile advertising network, which sends ads to some 10,000 mobile sites and apps and sees over 40 billion impressions across the network. It notes that collectively, publishers on its network are on track to generate some $400 million in revenue this year.

Opera notes that iOS on average continues to drive the highest eCPMs (effective cost per thousand impressions) on its network. Although the iPhone generates the most revenue, that is by dint of its ubiquity on the network: it accounts for just over 30% of all traffic, and 34% of all revenues, but its eCPMs are $1.48. By contrast, the eCPMs on the iPad are significantly higher, at $4.42, but it accounts for just 5% of all traffic on the network, working out to 18% of revenue.

That still puts the two into the top two positions in terms of what devices drive the best ad revenues. Android devices (tablets are not broken out) continue to see low eCPMs on Opera’s network, at $0.88. It’s not clear, however, whether this is because in fact Google would dominate advertising on that platform.

And perhaps most importantly, it appears that eCPMs are falling, with the average eCPM across all iOS devices at $2.49 in Q2, compared to $1.64 today.

Opera also delves into the relative performance of ads on native apps versus those developed for the mobile web. Although we have seen some analyst houses point out that the two have reached some kind of parity in terms of usage — although apps seem to be outpacing growth of mobile web for traffic — when it comes to making money, apps still seem to command more engagement, and therefore more revenues.

Opera says that on its network, apps account for over 80% of all traffic, and 72.7% of all mobile advertising revenue worldwide. My guess is that in certain markets like the U.S. that proportion would weigh even more in favor of apps over the mobile web, considering that North America, according to Opera, accounts for 7 out of every 10 ad requests.

The full report is here.