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Study: iPhone, Mobile Users Extremely Ad-Wary

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:53am
MARLBOROUGH, Mass.,/PRNewswire/ -- Chitika, a Massachusetts-based online advertising network, has released a study of mobile vs. non-mobile Internet usage. Based on a sample of 92 million impressions, the Chitika study shows that mobile users are approximately half as likely to click on an advertisement as non-mobile users.

Of the 92 million impressions cited in the study, approximately 1.3 million (1.5%) came from mobile browsing. While non-mobile held steady with a 0.83% clickthrough rate, mobile as a whole pulled a mere 0.48% - just over half of the average.

While the recent growth in 'smartphones' has sparked a renewed interest in mobile advertising, it appears given the numbers that mobile Internet users are not receptive to advertising — a phenomenon that is not surprising, given the mobile users' propensity to be searching for quick answers or directions.

Of the five major smartphone operating systems - Google's Android, Apple's iPhone, Microsoft's Windows CE, Palm OS, and Research In Motion's BlackBerry - iPhone ranked the worst for clickthrough rate at a dismal 0.30%. iPhone also accounted for the bulk of mobile hits, at 66%. The group which clicked on ads the most is the "Other" group, comprised mainly of BlackBerry users and a small handful of other phone operating systems (including Symbian, Nokia, and HTC).

The clickthrough rates are certainly lower than expected, given the industry's general consensus that mobile users are more likely to click ads. However, it must be taken into consideration that this is a comparison of the same ads on different media. The ads displayed on mobile devices are the same as the ones displayed to non-mobile, rather than comparing standard online advertising with mobile-oriented ads.

While there are side issues to consider in the mobile advertising market - accidental clicks being more relevant than in non-mobile ad serving - it appears that mobile Internet users are disinterested in advertising at an extremely high rate, and iPhone users are leading the charge.

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