The mobile advertising world remains divided between the iOS and Android platforms, with each side sporting a few wins over the other in terms of advertising. Now, iOS has taken a big step forward, with new research showing that Facebook ads are remarkably more profitable on its platform than ads hosted on its competitor.

Ad Research

New research from Nanigans, a large buyer of Facebook ads, looked at over 200 billion ads and concluded that those displayed on the iPhone generated a 1,790 percent higher return on investment than those displayed on Android devices, as detailed in VentureBeat.

The numbers break down to a revenue per click of $0.94 on iOS, compared to just $0.15 on Android. Since each platform’s cost per thousand impressions is relatively close ($4.99 for iOS and $4.87 for Android) and the cost per click isn’t that disparate, ($0.40 for iOS and $0.18 for Android), this works out to a return on investment of 162 percent for Facebook ads on the iOS platform compared to a -10 percent return on the Android platform.

The numbers are supported by a shift in mobile budget allocation, which shows that over the course of 2013, iOS budgets for Facebook advertising have increased from around 20 percent to above 50 percent.

“Audiences cost more on iPhone, and the reason is that it’s worth it,” Nanigans Senior Vice President Dan Slagen told VentureBeat. “Typically, we’re not looking to acquire one-time customers, we’re looking to invest over time…so we pay more up front for better long-term results.”

Breaking Down the Numbers

It’s notable that these statistics come from just one company based on its internal impressions. The numbers aren’t normalized by country, nor gathered utilizing similar advertisements on both platforms. Nanigans even stated that the gulf between iOS and Android wasn’t nearly as wide in some segments, like gaming and e-commerce, although those specific breakdown numbers were not made available. The statistics only take Facebook ads into account, not general application revenue, and previous reports show greater profits from in-app sales, in-app purchases, and in-app advertisements for iOS developers than Android developers.

For advertisers, these numbers are fairly significant, even if they may not be replicated with exactly the same disparity for every ad campaign. If nothing else, the Nanigans numbers will likely spark some interesting debates between advocates of each platform, both for advertisers and individual users. So are these numbers reflective of the two user bases, due to disparities in the data collection process, or due to another factor the research did not consider? Let us know what you think.

Image courtesy of Flickr




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