The Global App-ortunity: In-App Mobile Ads Outperform Mobile Web Ads 4 to 1

Posted on September 30, 2014
By Emily Basileo

The numbers are in! InMobi’s State of App Monetization Series provides network insights for app developers and publishers. Through analysis of billions of impressions served each month, these reports showcase the latest trends within the mobile app ecosystem on our network.

Mobile App vs. Mobile Web

In-app ad impressions now comprise nearly three-quarters of all ad impressions on our network. And according to our Q2 data, in-app ad impressions yielded CTRs 4x that of mobile web ad impressions and earned eCPMs more than 3.5x those of mobile web ads.

iOS Rules the Roost

Although Android apps accrued more ad impressions globally, iOS apps monetized just as well as Android apps. And despite averaging CTRs about 14% higher than Android CTRs, iOS apps earned eCPMs more than 40% higher than their Android counterparts.

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Bigger Is Better – Tablets Take Over Smartphones

In general, ads in tablet apps outperformed ads in smartphone apps. In-app tablet ads yielded CTRs about 50% greater than in-app smartphone ads, and in-app tablet ads earned nearly 30% higher eCPMs. Increased screensize and difference in context can affect performance. For example, larger screensizes make enaging ad experiences possible. Also, many consumers are more likely to use their tablets for leisure activities and may be more open to interacting with ads.

In fact, when it came to ad sizes, we noticed that Bigger Is Better. Full-screen ad sizes yielded higher CTRs than banner ads, and tablet ad sizes outperformed smartphone ad sizes. Similarly, larger ad sizes yielded higher eCPMs; full-screen ads and tablet ads earned higher eCPMs than in-app banner and smartphone ads.

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Games Are Lucrative

Research firm Gartner estimates that 138.8 billion mobile apps will be downloaded by the end of 2014 and that app downloads will surpass 268 billion by 2017. Although all categories reported growth in 2013, gaming apps dominated both downloads and revenues. According to the MEF and Distimo, now part of App Annie, games accounted for more than one-third of all downloads and generated 71% and 89% of revenue for Apple’s App Store and Google Play, respectively. On InMobi’s network, games accounted for 64% of total app downloads.

In terms of in-app ad monetization, games accounted for 30% of in-app ad impressions on our network. In-game ads yielded CTRs nearly 69% greater than the global average. And game app publishers earned eCPMs about two-thirds higher than the global average.

Other Top Categories

Games aren’t the only lucrative apps. Medical apps, personalization apps, finance apps and entertainment apps all over-indexed in both CTRs and eCPMs. Medical apps encompass any app that has medical/ pharmaceutical-related content. Apps selling OTC drugs, wherever legally permitted, also fall under this category. Ads to medical apps can be highly targeted, so it would be interesting to see if/ how targeting has impacted in-app ad performance for medical apps in particular.

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Personalization apps, i.e. apps that help users customize their properties (e.g. wallpapers, emoticons) is a new site category to watch. Personalization apps make using mobile devices easier, more enjoyable, and more… wait for it – personalized. These apps play to mobile consumers’ needs to customize all facets of their personal tech.

The Apportunity

Consumers around the globe are accessing apps on a daily basis, and in-app advertising opens a world of monetization opportunities for developers – the apportunities are endless.

Want More?

To access the full set of in-app ad indices, download The State of Mobile App Monetization Report

To deep dive into a few of our top global markets, download The State of Mobile App Monetization Report - Country Spotlight

To learn about app downloads, download The State of Mobile App Downloads Report