Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region in mobile advertising, with India as the most powerful driver in the market.
Its mobile-ad impression volume has grown 260 percent since July 2013. This is primarily due to the rapid, nation-wide shift from feature phones to smart devices, which is dominated almost entirely by the Android platform (41.7 percent share, as compared to iOS' 0.4 percent share).
These are part of the findings of the State of Mobile Advertising report, released by mobile advertising company Opera Mediaworks today (September 9, 2014).
According to the report, 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.
Additionally, advertisements served are mostly for games and mobile devices, together representing nearly half (48.1 percent) of all impressions. Classified ads, however, comprise a significant portion, with one in five 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 percent of impressions, rich media drives 26.6 percent of revenue.
Another key finding of the report is that the Indian mobile advertising audience is generally young (60 percent of them belong to the 18 to 24 age group), and predominantly male (82 percent). About half are "occasional" users, accessing the mobile web one to two times per week, but 21.6 percent are "frequent" (six to seven days/week), and six in 10 ad impressions are served to those "frequent" users.
"The biggest trend that we identified was really about future opportunity. 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," said Mahi de Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks.
"Given the high monetisation 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," he added.