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Summary:

Android has finally surged past iOS in ad impressions on Millennial’s ad network for the first time, breaking a two-month tie. The numbers reflect the obvious growth of the Android platform and solidifies the idea that Android has become the top platform for mobile advertising.

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Android has surged past iOS in ad impressions on Millennial’s ad network for the first time, breaking a two-month tie that suggested a possible lull in the growth of Google’s mobile platform. Android now represents 46 percent of ad impressions in December, compared to 32 percent for iOS after the two OSes were tied at 38 percent in November. Millennial said Android has also widened its lead in ad revenue from applications with 55 percent compared to 39 percent for iOS.

While the numbers reflect the obvious continued growth of the Android platform, it also solidifies the idea that Android has become the top platform for mobile advertising, which is fitting considering Google’s strength in advertising. As previous GigaOM commenters have chimed in, maybe we shouldn’t be as surprised because Android apps are designed around presenting ads. This may be instructive for developers trying to monetize their apps through ads. But as we’ve seen through evidence, iOS appears to have more revenue opportunities through paid downloads and in-app purchases.

For Google, the latest Millennial numbers are another sign that Android is still growing and matches other sales data that suggest the platform is seeing no let up in momentum. But with the introduction of a Verizon iPhone, it will be interesting to see if the numbers continue in this direction or if Apple grabs back some of its share of impressions. Millennial is the largest independent mobile advertising network.

Millennial said Android requests have grown 3,130 percent since January and 141 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter 2010. Apple iOS requests have grown by 12 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, and 14 percent since the beginning of the year. Requests on the iPad, however, grew 280 percent in the fourth quarter sequentially, which suggests tablets are going to be a key player in mobile advertising.

Apple still remains the top manufacturer in Millennial’s data with the iPhone and iPod Touch in first and third place and the iPad in eighth place, holding off a pack of 16 Android devices in the top 30 devices on Millennial’s network.

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  1. Is this an important metric? Just wondering because “Android now represents 46 percent of ad impressions in December, compared to 32 percent for iOS after the two OSes were tied at 38 percent in November.” seems to imply that Android is getting more advertising.

    Are we comparing Apples to Apples here? As firstly Android doesn’t have any access to Apple’s iAd network and secondly on iOS when you purchase an app you get it completely without an advertising driven model. The whole point of Android is that it is advertising driven whereas Apple is mostly free of such a model.

    Did I miss something obvious?

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    1. “As firstly Android doesn’t have any access to Apple’s iAd network and secondly on iOS when you purchase an app you get it completely without an advertising driven model. ”

      This report comes from the 3rd largest mobile ad company that serves ads to “both devices”. With Ad Mob (Google) and iAd (Apple) being 1 and 2. So this is an independent look at mobile advertising. This is what makes it significant. So they are comparing “Apples to Apples”.

      Now with the second point about “Apple’s Model” vs. “Google’s Model”, you could be entirely correct. However, if Apple didn’t care about Mobile Advertising, why would they start iAds? For fun?? I doubt that.

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      1. “if Apple didn’t care about Mobile Advertising, why would they start iAds? ”
        Because they now have a competitor who can give away his OS for free. Apple simply wants to imbed iAds to compete. Same for BB and Nokia which are both getting into that market as well. The advantage Apple would have is that they can lower the costs to advertisers and increase the cut to developers at any time since they make their money off the machines. Strangely enough Steve Balmer explained this very well at a conference you can see on the web.
        Also remember that for some time Android developers were very limited in terms of markets where they could sell their software. Therefore they had to revert to a free-but-with-ads model. Which when you think about it makes you wonder if Google did actually have trouble getting access to markets to sell or was it a way to force developers down the ad revenue model?

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      2. “if Apple didn’t care about Mobile Advertising, why would they start iAds? For fun?? I doubt that.”

        Well let’s see… Android competes with iOS. Google makes Android. Google’s ad network is on iOS. Google, a direct competitor of Apple is making a ton of money off Apple’s platform… etc…

        You don’t see why Apple got into the ad business? Google is using Apple’s platform to help fund the proliferation of its competing platform, so of course Apple is going to step in and try to reclaim some of that money, escpecially since Apple was freely distributing apps that was making Google money!

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      3. @DaveMTL

        “Which when you think about it makes you wonder if Google did actually have trouble getting access to markets to sell or was it a way to force developers down the ad revenue model?”

        This is a great point. I actually think you might be on to something. You basically get developers and users use to ads and so the “Google Model” is set.

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      4. @Michael

        I think you make some good points but that was my point. That they are not in Mobile Advertising for fun. They want to make money.

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      5. iAds is a revenue model nothing more or less, do Apple cares about market share I doubt it.

        There will always be cheap charlies.

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    2. Google’s AdMob Seeing 2 Billion Ad Requests Per Month; Up 300 Percent Over Past Year. More than 100 million unique Android and iOS devices requested an ad each month. This is good news! Rejoice! http://goo.gl/SaV9s

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  2. this information is only marginally useful. all it tells us is that on the 3rd largest ad network, android is growing. the 2nd largest ad network (iAds) is completely on iOS, so as for what the market is doing as a whole, this article doesn’t say a whole lot.

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  3. As @thelazzyone notes, I think @DaveMTL hit the nail on the head.

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  4. Android is leaving iOS behind in every category. Apple will soon be a thing of the past.

    http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

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    1. Haha, jealous much? Nobody forced you to buy a cheezy piece of adware junk instead of a real iPhone. Blame yourself.

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  5. Android leaves iOS behind in every category.

    http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

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  6. Remember, Apple, BB and others can choose to start an Ad war which they can afford since 98+% of their revenue is from hardware/software sales. Google is 85+% from ad revenue. Such a war would drain Google dry and worse, get their clients used to cheap ads.

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  7. Android is now a mobile billboard for ads. Congratulations!

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  8. So it’s clear:
    If you’re a developer on Android, don’t try to “sell” your App, you must make it ad-ware.

    Personally, I can’t see the benefit of ad-driven mobile solutions for users. Paying $50 over a year for random iOS apps without adverts sounds like a great deal (esp. when you consider the $70/mo+ you pay for the voice+data on any smartphone these days).

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