Fetch Exec Musings: The Era of Android in Mobile Advertising Draws Near

Fetch Exec Musings The Era of Android in Mobile Advertising Draws NearReady for a bold proclamation?

“Anyone who works in mobile marketing will be familiar with the fact that Android is now by far the dominant operating system globally.”

So says Julian Smith, head of strategy and innovations at Fetch.

“According to IDC, 85 percent of the global smartphone audience now uses Android in one form or other on a plethora of different devices (from Samsung, to HTC, to Nexus, to the forked devices of the Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Coolpad),” writes Smith in a commentary at The Drum. “And while many people reading this article might well be iPhone lovers, bear in mind that around the world Apple’s device has only 12 percent penetration – though the number looks slightly better in markets such as UK and U.S.”

Smith thinks that’s the audience to be targeted.

“So when it comes to mobile advertising, it would make sense (according to the above numbers) to want to target and engage this much more populous audience, and fish where the fish are,” Smith argues. “But ironically, mobile advertisers in general still tend to think iOS first.”

Smith believes things are rapidly changing, too.

“Mobile advertisers have surmised that despite their rapid global adoption, early Android phones weren’t as user friendly as iPhones, didn’t have the latest and greatest apps, or simply were used by people as dumbphones for making phone calls and texting more than using a lot of apps or roaming the mobile web – something refered to as the Android Engagement Paradox,” Smith opines.

But is this beginning to change?

Probably so. Opera Mediaworks just reported that Q1 2014 was the first time that Android surpassed iOS in mobile ad traffic. True, it trails in ad revenue — but the gap is narrowing.

“Also earlier this year Google introduced highly targeted app ads that react to how Android users interact with apps,” Smith notes. “Furthermore Google is testing ways to track consumers from mobile browser to the apps they use. These mobile advertising developments should improve the effectiveness of Android platform targeting to advertisers.”

Android may be the go-to in the very near future, Smith conjectures.

“All these recent developments might make Android OS targeting more efficient and effective over time,” says Smith.