Mobile Continues to Grow as Percentage of the Search Marketplace

Publishers and other service providers in the mobile advertising ecosystem know that the rates they can searchcharge are much lower than marketers will pay for digital ads served to PC users. Yet, new research shows that mobile ad rates are diverging by device type and operating system. The information just released by MoPub and The Search Agency may help advertisers discern where they should place their mobile money.

The State of Paid Search, a report from The Search Agency, noted that 23% of clicks in the last quarter of 2012 were traced to mobile devices. For the first time, advertisers spent more on tablet search ads (8.5%) than smartphones (7.1%). This shift is a nod to the growing use of tablets.  Search remained a key part of advertiser budgets with an 11% YOY increase in the 4th quarter of 2012. Consumers increased their clicks over the previous year by 4% and marketers in general paid $0.59 for each click.

Advertisers may be especially interested in allocating money for iPad campaigns going forward. Data from MoPub, based on 4th quarter 2012 activity, shows that the cost per thousand impressions reached $1.56 in the last part of December. Comparable rates for the iPhone were $1.16. Android devices came in slightly lower with $1.14 for tablets and $0.91 for smartphones. Analysts link the higher rates to click-​throughs which have been as high as 1.7% in 2013 for iOS devices.

MoPub analysts point out that while rich media ads generate between 20%-37% higher click rates, they also cost between 27%-40% more. Advertisers will also want to know that top verticals being sold in mobile are:

  • Social networks 6.9%
  • Sports properties 5.6%
  • Games 5.6%
  • Utilities 5.1%
[Sources: Smartphones and Tablets Represent Nearly One-​Fourth of All Paid Clicks. Search Agency. 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. iPad More Popular for Mobile. Venturebeat​.com. 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.