Rich media mobile ads are up to four times as effective as standard banner ads in terms of clickthrough rate, according to a new report from Opera Mediaworks.

The study also found that in-app mobile ads are an average of 1.7x more effective than ads on the mobile web.

Rich media ads achieved a CTR of 1.53% when displayed in an app and 1.12% on the mobile web. In comparison, standard banner ads achieved CTRs of 0.39% and 0.32% respectively.

It stands to reason then that Opera also reports that rich media ads are becoming more popular with advertisers.

The data is aggregated from 378 mobile ad campaigns run in the US during the month of May, each with more than one million impressions.

But a separate study from Nielsen shows that mobile advertising is still struggling to make an impact with consumers, as more than half (53%) of UK smartphone owners say they have never received adverts while using their device. 

This either suggests that it is an underused marketing channel or consumers find it easy to ignore mobile advertising.

Use of mobile ads

But while rich media ads are clearly more effective than banner ads, the latter still dominates the mobile ad market.

Standard banner ads (350x50) account for just over half (52%) of mobile ad campaigns on Opera’s platform, with the second most-popular format being MREC (300x250) with just 16% of market share. Tap to expand and interactive videos make up just 6% and 1% respectively.

Apple dominates mobile advertising

Despite the fact that Android is leading the way in terms of global smartphone sales, iOS devices still account for a higher proportion of ad impressions and revenue.

Overall Apple products account for 44% of impressions and almost half of mobile ad revenue, however when looking solely at smartphones that use iOS and Android then the two operating systems are tied with just over 30% of ad impressions each.

The iPhone still triumphs in terms of monetisation however, with 36.4% of revenue compared to 27.8% for Android.

David Moth

Published 23 July, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (5)



Mobile ads are the best way get more traffic in presen time........
Nice and informative blog..

about 5 years ago


Gareth Rees, Media Portfolio Lead at Personal

There are lots of other variables that should be taken into account when judging effectiveness of mobile ads.

Is this data click to expand, or click through to advertiser site? If it is the former then a campaign aimed at driving traffic would be much more effective using standard ads.

The blog points out that standard ads are still used most often - this is publisher and handset driven, not advertiser driven. So if you want the highest reach for your mobile campaign and you don't want to exclude long tail audiences or those using operating systems not compatible with the latest rich media executions then standard ads are still the best route.

As a result, and perhaps most importantly, rich media ads might have a higher CTR but they are considerably more expensive. If CTR is an important metric for a campaign then CPC should be even more important, and price will ensure that the uplift in CTR is cancelled out many times over.

about 5 years ago


Karl Harris

Interesting article thanks.

I'd be interested to see if those figures are available at a country level, I'm in a global role where availability of 3g signal and the size of a smartphone users data plan is a bigger consideration.

So finding a median between the two is essential if we are going to maintain a globally consistent brand.

about 5 years ago


Pip Cartwright

Some very interesting statistics here. I'd be interested to learn more about what you consider to make a "rich media ad".

about 5 years ago


Ryan Flynn

Mobile Advertising is definitely just one piece of a solid, successful advertising campaign. The key to having a great advertising plan is to have one that is mutl-faceted. You want different areas addressing different aspects of your advertising material or reaching out to a different group of people. Plus with all of the people using their cell phones as their primary communication device, it is wise to cater to these consumers by creating mobile ads and/or banners.

about 5 years ago

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