So you create one of those new fangled ‘free’ apps that relies on advertising and you sit back and wait for the money to pour in. And despite releasing an app for Android, the current king of phones, the ad revenue doesn’t roll in. Why? Turns out not only are Android users stingy at paying for apps, they don’t even click through ads on free apps. Contradict to that, Windows Phones which have a 2.5x greater click through rate.

According to Smaato “Windows Phone 7 and Nokia’s Symbian OS rank as the top performing OS in mobile advertising.” In fact, if you segregate the US click through, Windows Pones remain in the top spot. Now of course, there are a lot more Android handsets so the numbers on a verge would still skew that way, but it is an interesting finding. 

Gigaom asked Smaato why Windows phone came out on top and here was the response:

Even though Windows Phone devices  from Microsoft are not that successful yet in terms of market penetration it is possible, that the novelty factor of new Windows Phone devices is contributing significantly to the higher mobile advertising performance measured in Click-Through rates.

Microsoft’s own SDK is not delivering ads outside the USA yet, and it might be possible that overall there are less mobile ads presented in Windows Phone devices – therefore more attention is given to the ads in apps or mobile websites.

The metrics are looking at click behavior of anonymized smartphone OS owners that are averaged out over a large number of worldwide mobile inventory and therefore give an indication on what advertisers could expect from campaigns targeted to different smartphone OS.

For my two cents, I appreciate the developers that provide free apps so I go out of my way to click if there’s anything interesting. Support the dev and the platform I figure and it’s just a few seconds of my time to possible see some new fangled product.

it’s also interesting that the average fill rate is a mere20% but specialized ads have higher fill rates and returns so that’s something for developers to consider.  And of coruse they suggest you use their services to get the best return (which may be accurate – I really have no idea):

The process of monetizing mobile advertising is increasingly more fragmented and high fill rates are harder to achieve with only one single ad network. As such, app developers and publishers of mobile websites that seek to monetize their mobile inventory need to enlist multiple ad networks in order to achieve higher fill rates.

Given Smaato’s latest metrics, in order to reach a possible 100% fill rate one would need about five ad network requests simultaneously. This is where ad optimizers such as Smaato come in to aggregate multiple ad networks to maximize the revenue stream through mobile advertising.

Anyway, it’s definitely something for devs to think about.


  1. I’m sure that’s why wp7 apps sell better too cause my dad, little sister, and grandma (wp7 core user base) pay for apps and clicks ads.. droidftw

  2. Heh nice rimshot Chris.

    Not to be a dickhole or anything but you’re doing neither the developer nor Microsoft no favors by just clicking on ads as a thoughtful gesture — that is unless whoever’s brokering these Microsoft ads isn’t using some lame system that somehow tallies up actual sales performance per click in which case you wouldn’t be watering down the value of the developer’s ad “space” and the entire brokerage / phone platform’s delivery. It’s important David that these elements are kept shipshape so that you can write one more positive article about Windows Phone then play a game of congratulatory grabass with your comrades of obscurity.

  3. @Doug Simmons: I stated that I click on things that interest me…that’s what ads are for. That’s the exact intent of them. Get someone to see something new that interests them and see if it sticks…
    Anyway, it’s been a long time since you’ve either praised a product that wasn’t Google’s or, dare I say, accept that something Goog wasn’t perfect or the best. That’s the fanboy line you’re freely jumping over.
    I’m sure you’ll accuse me of the same thing so here’s one within the last week:

  4. Smaato, Gigamom… you know David, just in case you’re not already, feel free to make names up to see if we notice or hell just write whatever you want and make a graph in Excel or better yet pbrush.exe without bothering to name a source — it’s not as if your adversaries, and certainly not mention your teammates for that matter, are going to bother looking into it each time.

    Of course that all might change when you finally hit 1% so cash in while you can.

  5. @Doug Simmons: Create a distraction and avoid the topic…I see.
    To entertain you “More than 20,000 app developers and premium publishers have signed up with Smaato to monetize their content in 220+ countries and to manage close to 30 billion ad requests per month.” But since the news isn’t positive towards Google it must be the messenger, not the message…

  6. No you did not say you click on things that interest you.

    You want to know what you said? Let me read it back to you. You said this: “Hey everybody, be sure to download the I am a WP7 update, just leave it running and also, while I’m touting our platform’s clickthrough rates, go out of your way as I do, in appreciation and support of the I am a WP7 app’s developer, the troops as well as the platform in general, to inflate the clickthrough figures artificially especially though not necessarily if the ad might appear remotely relevant to your interests!”

  7. @theenforcer000 Only because dick Simmons here is wrong and he doesn’t want to admit it!

  8. Tkadrum: Okay let’s step back and both try to look at this with a clear head, starting with this:

    Picture two groups, two teams rather, of people, one shirts, the other skins. All other things being equal, the shirts team is outnumbered by the skins by, say, fifty to one, and they are in a competitive context, the teams. With me?

    Now the shirts people went into the t-shirt store with grandiose and irrationally exuberant visions of much more shirts being available and being sold to a lot of people who were subjected to effective and competent marketing and also were under the impression that the t-shirt factory would be able to send out updated shirts expediently without the t-shirt stores slowing things down by months so that they could redesign their own logo and stamp it on the shirts or deliberately stall things until team shirts got holes in their shirts and were desperate to buy new shirts rather than wait around longer for a free upgraded shirt that they were beginning to suspect wouldn’t come anyway, targeting their anger at team skins and the t-shirt retailing industry but not the t-shirt fabricator. We’re talking a lot of frustration and also one or two other teams in some tournament which also outnumbered them by at least twenty to one apiece on average.

    Can you tell me whether or not team shirts would be more inclined, all other things being equal, to be sure that the Gatorade logo (team skins is sponsored by Powerade) on their cooler is visible to the crowd and cameras when they dunk it on their coach, subsequently sending out newsletters to their fans about how much more inclined the spectators were to look at their cooler’s logo than that of team shirts based on some cherrypicked bullshit analysis the captain’s son in law pulled out of his ass?

  9. WTF?!!! Do you know what a damn sentence is? Use a fucking period. Damn paragraph with two fucking periods. No one wants to read that shit.

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