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India's mobile ad impressions grow 260% since July 2013

The Economic Times:  September, 2014

India is the single-most powerful driver of the Asia-Pacific market, with mobile-ad impression volume growing 260% since July 2013, according to the State of Mobile Advertising report from Opera Mediaworks.

The growth is primarily due to the rapid, country-wide shift from feature phones to smart devices, which is dominated almost entirely by the Android platform (41.7% share vs. a paltry 0.4% for iOS), the report said.

India is the single-most powerful driver of the Asia-Pacific market, with mobile-ad impression volume growing 260% since July 2013. Opera Mediaworks' first India-focused report provides data on device adoption, ad types and mobile consumption patterns in the sub-continent, among other things.

The report found that social sites and apps are most popular in usage, consistent with the global trend. However, mobile app stores, gaming and education sites, and apps closely follow, which is particular to India users.

Advertisements served are mostly for games and mobile devices, together representing nearly half (48.1%) of all impressions. Classified ads, however, comprise a significant portion, with 1 in 5 impressions dedicated to the direct sale of personal transportation like cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles.

Most ads are simple banners, but more sophisticated rich media is emerging as a creative medium. Even at only 3.2% of impressions, rich media drives 26.6% of revenue, the report found.

"The biggest trend that we identified was really about future opportunity," says Mahi de Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks. "Mobile users in India who have shifted to smartphones have done so with Android, and we can see that those users are far more interested in categories like News & Information, Arts & Entertainment and Business, Finance & Investing than the India average. Given the high monetization we've seen from these categories on a global level, it's clear that both advertisers and publishers that can deliver rich user experiences on mobile sites and apps in those categories are going to be successful in India, as well."