- iPhone CTR drop across the globe and overtaken by Android in the US and South Africa
- Feature Phones and Symbian gain
May's metrics show that Android is starting to recover in terms of global click through rates (CTR) and Feature Phones have really closed the gap on Symbian, looking set to take top spot next in June if it maintains the current rate of growth. In the US, Smaato's metrics reveal that Symbian still dominates the region in terms of CTR – despite small market share of handsets, Android has now leapfrogged Apple in to second place as Apple suffers another drop in global CTR.
Smaato's metrics are based upon 40 mobile ad networks and over 7 billion ad requests served in the Smaato Network of more than 5,000 registered mobile publishers in May 2010.
Worldwide CTR Index (Click Through Rate) by Handset Operating System
Chart 1: Smaato Index – Operating System CTR (Click Through Rates) worldwide, May 2010
The performance in May shows a wider spread between the different operating systems. Symbian still leads in terms of click through rates worldwide with a small improvement to 159 (157 in April). Feature Phones also increased in CTR to 147 (from 134 in April) and if this trend continues it will pass Symbian to become the world's top performing operating system in terms of CTR. Android also showed signs of recovery as it increased to 40 (from 39 in April).
Windows Phone (54) and Apple (55) suffered significant drops in the previous month in comparison to 78 (Windows Phone) and 77 (Apple) in April. Palm and Blackberry also continued their downtrend with 29 (Palm, instead of 36) and Blackberry with 17 (instead of 25).
The Index consists of the average CTR of all devices and this number is set to 100.
Despite Feature Phone's gains, Symbian remains the leading OS in terms of click through rates worldwide, this month with almost three times the click through rate of iPhone. Putting this into perspective, we have to consider the sheer number of Symbian devices compared to Apple devices, but it should again also serve as further proof to advertisers that the iPhone is far from the be-all and end-all in mobile advertising.
Chart 2: Smaato Index – Operating System CTR (Click Through Rates) worldwide, January-to-May 2010
Fill Rate Worldwide
Smaato's metrics demonstrate the performance of mobile ad networks globally and the fill rate is measured as the percentage of ads delivered per ad request and varies by different factors, like country, device and content type.
The ad networks are not published in the monthly Smaato metrics, but are revealed in the dashboard of registered Smaato publishers reporting and analytics tools (www.smaato.com/signup).
Chart 3: Smaato Index – Fill Rate of Mobile Ad Networks (worldwide), May 2010
Chart 4: Smaato Index – Fill Rate of Mobile Ad Networks (worldwide), January - May 2010
The fill rates of the global top 10 ad networks, dropped further, with the global average dipping to 21% from 26% in April and 28% in March. This time there are eight ad networks performing above the average but the gap between the first with a fill rate of 96% and the second best with 53% is huge. It rises from 13 percentage points in April to 43 percentage points this time.
The average for worldwide ad network fill rate performance has been in decline since February. This data helps to prove that an ad network aggregation system can help partners achieve the best possible return and the highest possible fill rate, across the globe.
Spotlight: USA vs. South Africa
Following Smaato's recent focus on South East Asia and Europe, it has turned spotlights on the USA and South Africa in order to compare how two of the biggest mobile advertising markets line up against each other in terms of operating system click through rates and ad network fill rates.
Click Through Rates
Chart 5: Smaato Index – Operating System CTR (Click Through Rates) USA, May 2010
Chart 6: Smaato Index – Operating System CTR (Click Through Rates) South Africa, May 2010
The differences in CTRs in the USA and South Africa are apparent from the charts above. In the USA Symbian decreased slightly, but still dominates the market with a CTR Index of 316 (339 in April), a healthy margin of more than 2.8x higher CTR Index than its closest rival, Android (118), as Android makes its first appearance above the 100 index, with Apple following closely behind (111). Blackberry CTR's in the US have halved since April, from 58 to only 28 in May.
In comparison to the USA, the different operating systems are closer together in South Africa. Except of Feature Phones on top with a CTR Index of 108, the range differs only from 39 (Blackberry) to 64 (Symbian). Palm is left out in this statistic as the number of users is too small in South Africa.
Fill Rates: USA vs. South Africa
Chart 7: Smaato Index – Fill Rate of Mobile Ad Networks (USA), April 2010
Chart 8: Smaato Index – Fill Rate of Mobile Ad Networks South Africa, May 2010
The mobile ad networks in South Africa show a complete different performance regarding the fill rates. The average fill rate is with 72% the highest Smaato unveiled in its Metrics so far. This is 3.4x higher than the worldwide average fill rate. The two top performing ad networks both reached 92% and are the only networks performing above the average.
Chart 9: Smaato Index – Operating System CTR (Click Through Rates) Europe: UK, Germany, France, Italy Spain, May 2010
In Europe, Windows Phones increased its lead over its competition with a CTR Index of 157 (126 in April) and while Symbian saw increases in its CTR, it places second (137) and changed place with Apple which lost from 122 to 116. The big surprise is Blackberry: After an Index of only 36 in April, the OS rose to a CTR Index rate of 91, very close to the average.
Chart 10: Smaato Index – Fill Rate of Mobile Ad Networks Europe: UK, Germany, France, Italy Spain, May 2010
In Europe the average fill rate (36%) rose from 25% and is now between the worldwide average of 21% and the US fill rate of 43%. Six of the top 10 ad networks performed above the average. The top ad network in regard to the fill rate could rise to 96% (93% in April) and is 28 points stronger than the second one.
Ad Network Response Time worldwide
Smaato has taken another look at the response time of the top-performing ad networks in the Metrics for May 2010. The top 15 ad networks show a broad spectrum of performance.
Chart 11: Smaato Index – Response Time for Mobile Ad Networks (worldwide), May 2010
The fastest response time in May was measured at 39 milliseconds, from 11 milliseconds in March and 25 in April. In May there was a significant difference between the top eight ad networks with only 34 milliseconds separating AN1 and AN8 in comparison to AN9, which comes in with 197 milliseconds.
Publishers should consider response times when adding several ad networks within a page load and therefore an allotted time to fill the ad space reserved.
This is a significant consideration for mobile publishers as for them, the best user-experience comes with the fastest loading time of a mobile web site or for in-app advertising. If an ad is requested from a mobile ad network and no ad is available, then a faster response time allows sending this request to one or more ad networks for a chance to get an ad delivered.