Opera sees mobile ad revenue from Android top iOS for the first time

Apple's iPad is still an ad machine though, creating revenue four times that of its traffic. China's iPhone sales could reverse this in short order as well.

Android accounted for more revenue across Opera's mobile ad platform for the first time ever, the company reported on Tuesday. Apple's iOS users still offer more monetization potential however, with a far higher ratio of revenue to impressions. Apple's iPad, for example, generates ad revenues more than four times its traffic volume; the most of any device Opera tracks.

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This trend is to be expected though. In the first quarter of 2014, Android took over as the top platform for mobile ad impressions, says Opera.

See also: Free Android apps quietly connect to thousands of user tracking, ad sites

It was only a matter of time before total revenues followed, particularly since Opera can be the default browser on Android phones, and not on iOS devices. That gives Opera a lower barrier to entry, or more user "stickiness" on Android in addition to more Android devices sold worldwide than those that run iOS.

Some other highlights from Opera's most recent quarter report include:

  • In another first, Social Networking and Games generated the most ad revenue on the Opera Mediaworks ad platform, displacing the Music, Video and Media category for the top spot.
  • The U.S. brings most of Opera's ad impressions and revenue but Asia and Africa are growing with year-over-year traffic growth of 19 and 32 percent respectively. Given that the Opera browser is particularly useful in areas with limited or relatively slower mobile browser -- Opera can compress browsing data -- I'd expect this growth to continue or even accelerate.
  • Don't count out mobile video just yet. In the past 12 months, video ad impressions increased sixfold as more mobile device users are streaming video.

Opera's data comes from a fairly large data set: The company says more than 850 million unique users see its ads across 18,000 sites and apps across all platforms.

While Android has taken the top spot for revenue, it's clear that iOS is still a monetization force to be reckoned with. As iPhone sales grow dramatically in highly populous nations such as China, I'll be interested in revisiting Opera's numbers in the coming quarters to see the impact.

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