A new study of mobile advertising shows that there is more to mobile advertising than the iPhone, as it was outperformed by both Symbian and  feature phones in terms of click through rates. 

The survey comes from mobile advertising firm Smaato, which has looked at mobile click through rates worldwide, based on the 6bn ad requests served through its network in April. 

Worldwide mobile ad CTR

Click through rates for feature phones, less sophisticated (but still very popular) phones than smartphones, continued to rise during April, and performed better than iPhones, Blackberries and Android phones. 

The most successful mobile OS in terms of CTR was Symbian, which is used in many Nokia and SonyEricsson mobiles: 

US and Europe

There are significant differences in click through rates between the US and Europe. In the US, the Symbian OS dominates the market, with a CTR almost three times higher than that of the iPhone. 

In the European market, Windows phones lead in terms of click throughs, closely followed by the iPhone, with Symbian in third position. 

This underperformance from the iPhone OS may well have promoted Apple's recent decision to launch the iAd network. Steve Jobs recently commented that a lot of mobile advertising sucks, and this new move will look to improve the quality and performance of mobile ads. 

Graham Charlton

Published 17 May, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (1)


Wes Biggs

It's great to see data like this shared but it does need to be put in context before drawing broad conclusions.

Click-through rate is a complicated metric.  It depends on quality of the publisher inventory (audience quality), type of inventory (e.g. many games tend to have a lower CTR than other types of apps), quality of the ad creatives (how often do you click on the "IQ Test" ads vs. a well branded ad from Nokia?) and other aspects.

And Smaato is just one data point in a chaotic and rapidly evolving mobile ad marketplace.  Their data is valuable, but it's only one piece of the puzzle.  For instance, what percentage of all mobile ad display traffic does Smaato see?  How many different sites and apps does their data represent for each platform listed?

It's worth noting that Smaato's iPhone SDK is relatively new, having launched in February of this year, whereas they have been market leaders in Symbian and feature phone traffic for a significant length of time -- so these numbers may say more about the current makeup of the Smaato network than about the marketplace in general.

about 8 years ago

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