Feature Article

December 13, 2012

Opera Calls the Top 10 in Mobile Advertising for 2012

With the year rapidly winding down, Hanukkah currently in play, and Christmas rapidly approaching, it's not surprising that people are starting to look back on the year and see what failed, what succeeded, and what was too plain old weird to not discussion. Opera Software was no different, and to that end, released its State of Mobile Advertising report recently discussing the biggest and best in 2012 for mobile advertising.

Opera Software's year in review focused on over 10,000 mobile apps, as well as mobile websites that used the Opera mobile ad platform, so they had plenty of fodder to analyze and from which to derive a lot of impressive conclusions.

First out of the gate was the revelation that the iPhone 5 was the most successful new device, easily walking over the Samsung Galaxy S III, and from that came the second and third conclusions: iOS was the leader in market share measured by impressions, and the iPad was the clear winner when it came to eCPM.

There were several clear winners when it came to publishers. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) saw big jumps in mobile, as did Pandora and Univision. Some more unexpected winners were Big Oven, a purveyor of recipes and apps for cooking, as well as Demand Media, with apps like eHow and Cracked seeing major traffic and revenue as well.

The winner for fastest growing emerging market was split between Russia and Ukraine, with Hispanics seeing the best targeted mobile campaign by way of a co-development between a major telecom firm and Mobile Theory.

Kia took top honors for its Build a Car advertising unit in which users got to assemble their own Kia online, but the best publisher category for mobile impressions came from the music, video and media segment with 23.8 percent of mobile impressions total. The biggest growth in the industry--going from four percent of revenue at the start of the year to nearly 14 percent by the end--went to the sports market, while when it came to click-through rates, the top dog was the mobile gaming market.

There's so much that can be said about these results, but the key take away from the whole thing has to be the overall change in the mobile markets, and how vital it is for advertisers to adjust their behaviors accordingly to what worked. Naturally, by the end of 2013, we may well be looking at some completely different numbers and completely different winners, but there do seem to be some basic underlying commonalities that advertisers likely wouldn't want to ignore.

People like to be entertained online, and people like to interact with their advertising. The success of Kia's Build A Car ad suggests that much, and the clear gains made in sports, video, and music, as well mobile gaming, make it clear that people are turning to the mobile Web to be entertained in some fashion. Ads that can entertain have a much better chance of being engaging, and engagement is just what advertisers want to help influence buying decisions.

The mobile advertising market is one in constant flux, but there look like some very clear imperatives emerging for at least the early going of 2013. What we'll see as a result of this information remains to be seen, but it's a fair bet that advertising will be a lot more entertaining in the not too distant future, at least, on mobile platforms.

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