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The State of Mobile App Monetization: Health & Fitness Ads Are Star Performers

Emily Basileo
5 min read
Posted on December 02, 2014

This edition of InMobi’s State of App Monetization Series dives into in-app 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.

Android Apps Accrue Most Impressions; iOS Apps Dominate Ad Performance

Ads in iOS apps continued to dominate in-app Android ads with respect to both CTRs and eCPMs. In-app iOS ads yielded 21% higher CTRs and 51% higher eCPMs than in-app Android ads.

In-app iOS ads earned higher eCPMs than both Android smartphones and tablets. Although Android tablet ads yielded 23% higher CTRs than iOS smartphone ads, they earned eCPMs 25% lower than iOS smartphone ads. This may be in part attributed to the common believe that iOS users spend more money for apps and within apps than Android users.

Game and Entertainment Apps Remain Star Performers

Game and entertainment apps again led the charge; both categories accrued the most impressions, averaged the highest CTRs, and earned the best eCPMs. Also, during Q3, Social Networking ad impressions nearly doubled from Q2, accruing as many impressions as game apps.

As we noted last quarter, health/ medical apps perform significantly well. Although accruing just shy of 1 billion ad impressions during Q3, medical/health apps earned an average eCPM 41% higher than the global average.

Brand Ads Rake in the Money; Health & Fitness Ads Are High-Performing

In general, non-standard ad content (not illustrated, <1% of ad impressions) earned app developers the highest average eCPMs. Non-standard content includes ads for non-profit organizations, ads with mature content, or ads that do not fall under standard ad tag categories. Because of the unique nature of these ads, many advertisers will pay premium rates.

Quick service restaurants (QSR) and dining advertisers paid the highest eCPMs, followed by automotive and telecom advertisers. These ads did not necessarily yield the highest performance metrics; many brand advertisers will specially target their consumers, utilize rich media or other dynamic ad formats, and will pay a premium just to create awareness of their products or services. Brand advertisers may also track other metrics, besides just CTR, such as dwell time in app, video completes, or other types of in-app interactions.

Another hot ad category is Health & Fitness. These ads yield both higher than average eCPMs and CTRs. These ads encompass anything health and fitness related, such as exercise and women’s health, dental care, medical condition information, and even prescription drug advertisements, where allowed. With the rise of smart health and fitness wearables, this category should continue to see growth over the coming quarters.

Ad Formats Matter

By now it should be pretty common knowledge that overall, rich media interstitial ads earn developers the highest eCPMs. Interstitial ads earned eCPMs more than 7X the global average.

Recently, we have seen huge success with native ads, particularly native interstitials. We’ve also just released playable ads, ads in which mobile users can play a game within the ad itself, without even leaving the app. Soon enough, we will be able to measure just how lucrative these new and emerging ad formats are for app developers.

Timing Is Everything

True to the adage, timing is everything. In the US, impressions surge early in the week, but both CTRs and eCPMs reach their peaks later in the week, on Thursdays and Fridays.

Ad impressions remain relatively consistent throughout the day and spike around 4 PM PST (7 PM EST). However, CTRS are highest in the early morning hours, around 3 – 4 AM PST (6 – 7 AM EST), and eCPMs reach their max around 4 PM PST (7 PM EST). This is likely due to an increase in brand advertiser spend and higher performance CPCs targeted to consumers after work/ class.


Want More?

To access the full set of in-app ad indices, download The State of Mobile App Monetization Report, 2014 Q3

To access the full set of 2014 Q2 in-app ad indices, download The State of Mobile App Monetization Report, 2014 Q2

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

About the Author

Emily has always had an inquisitive mind and an active imagination. Her imagination told her that she was a superhero. Although Emily never developed the ability to fly, she spread her wings and left her hometown to study at NYU. Emily’s adventures eventually led her to San Francisco, where she joined the AppGalleries family and excelled as the Director of Operations. In 2012, InMobi acquired AppGalleries, and Emily was absorbed into the Strategy & Operations team. Today, Emily thrives on the Global Insights team, pondering marketing’s big questions, identifying trends, and crafting actionable strategies. Ever the optimist, Emily still hopes to fly – she has a cape.

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