Google bought AdMob for $750 million, closing the deal in May of 2010 and giving Google a huge boost in mobile advertising. But it’s been hard to understand how much success AdMob has had on any specific platform because the data isn’t made public.
Well, Xyologic, a mobile app search firm, has come up with what it says is the first break down of mobile advertising on Android apps, showing that Google’s AdMob is well ahead of rival ad providers. Xyologic found that half of the top 1,000 apps in Android Market use an advertising SDK and 22 percent of all apps use more than one advertising SDK. Of those apps that use advertising, 89 percent of the apps use AdMob, well ahead of any other challenger. These apps also represented 89 percent of all downloads in October for the top apps with advertising.
That AdMob does well on Android may not sound too surprising considering Google owns both Android and AdMob. But I’ve been told before that AdMob sees Android as just another platform and doesn’t provide any special functionality for Android devs. And AdMob was the top mobile advertising network before it was purchased by Google.
The second most popular mobile advertising provider was Millennial Media, whose SDK was used in 34 percent of the top 1,000 apps, which represented 48 percent of all downloads in October among the top apps. It was followed by InMobi, which had presence in 22 percent of the top apps that use advertising. These apps represented 26 percent of all downloads of top apps with ads in October.
AdMob’s ad exchange AdWhirl was fourth with 19 percent presence on Android apps that utilize advertising followed by Mobclix with 15 percent. The overall numbers don’t add up to 100 percent because apps can work with more than one advertising company.
The rest of the market includes mobile ad exchange networks AdMarvel, Smaato, Burstly, Mopub, Nexage, Fiksu, and mobile ad network Jumptap who each make up less than 3 percent of the overall market share. They serve the remaining 15 percent of the top apps that use advertising. This group represented 26 percent of all downloads in October among the top downloaded apps with mobile advertising.
Xyologic said it came by its numbers by evaluating the top 1,000 most downloaded apps on Android for October and screening these apps for advertising SDKs. These apps have more than over 340 million downloads in total, representing 54 percent of the downloads in October.
It’s hard to know if these numbers are completely accurate. IDC tried to make some estimates in 2009 on the overall mobile ad market and who the biggest players were but it was criticized for its methodology. But the fact that AdMob is used in so many Android apps shows that the purchase of AdMob was worth it, especially now that mobile advertising is expected to grow to $20.6 billion by 2015, according to Gartner.