Android overtakes iOS on mobile ad traffic

Android devices now account for more ad impressions than iOS devices, even if those ads don't create as much money.

Android has hit another milestone — devices running the operating system are now getting more mobile advertising that those running iOS.

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According to mobile advertising company Opera Mediaworks, just under 43 percent of all mobile ads for the first quarter of this year were delivered to Android devices, compared to 38 percent of ads which were sent to iOS devices.

And while iOS devices still generate 52 percent of the total revenue compared with 33 percent for Android, Android is catching up. "Although still trailing iOS in terms of monetization, Android is making slow advancement in that category, as well," the report said, noting that in the same quarter last year Android accounted for 27 percent of revenue. Most of Android's gain has been at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian devices.

Opera Mediaworks said Samsung was the "clear leader" in the Android market, accounting for more that 60 percent of ad impressions on Android (LG is a distant second on 11 percent).

Phones are the targets for the majority of ad impressions for both Android and iOS. Of Android's 43 percent of the market, 41 percent is ads on phones, and only 1.5 percent on tablets. Of the 38 percent of mobile ad traffic that ends up on iOS devices, 25 percent goes to iPhones, 10 percent to iPads, and three percent to iPod Touch devices.

While — unsurprisingly — the colossal scale of social networks mean they account for the most mobile ad traffic volume, arts and entertainment sites are the top revenue generators. Business, finance and investing content has the highest revenue per impression, holding that top position for more than a year now.

The US continues to drive the majority of ad traffic (just over half) and revenue on the Opera Mediaworks' platform but Asia is now in a solid second place, having overtaken Europe as the second largest mobile ad market in the past quarter.

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