Judging mobile OSs by CTR is most likely of little importance to most people, but for mobile advertisers it’s a big deal. On the verge of Apple’s entrance into the market, it’s being reported that Android’s click-through-rate has dropped significantly in recent months, dropping as much as 50% during March alone.
In its latest monthly metrics report for March, Smaato indicates a huge drop in CTR from Android devices as seen from over 4 billion ad requests served over 36 different mobile ad networks. Though it’s not a worldwide trend — CTR went way up in South East Asia for example — it’s the second month in row that Android as a whole has lost CTR. Interestingly enough, Feature Phone handsets have been building the most momentum since the first Smaato Metrics Report back in December, with each month showing consistent gains on the competition in the CTR Index- from 84 in December, to 91 in January, to 107 in February and now at 123 in March.
Though there’s really no explanation as to why Android has dropped in terms of CTR, it may have something to do with the way ad-networks are interacting with the platform- favoring others at the moment instead. The fact the lull is centered in North America is interesting as well. While there’s a lot of competition in terms of smartphone OSs, Android has always been a top player in terms of mobile ad CTR- that may all be changing though. For Android and Google, however, it’s not a good time to show potential advertisers that CTR is suffering on the platform, especially as Apple debuts its iAd platform for iPhone.