2014 Mobile Advertising Report


To advertise or not to advertise? This is a common question that many GoodBarbers have, due to the ongoing debate regarding whether or not the money earned is worth the compromised user experience many believe to occur.

There is a definite line between effective and obnoxious when it comes to mobile advertising, but if you can manage to incorporate ads in a tasteful way there is certainly an opportunity for profit, which is apparent in the spike in mobile advertising revenues seen over the past year.

The following is a summary of the results and trends seen in the mobile advertising industry intended to guide and help you make advertising a successful part of your strategy.

Financial Results

PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report detailing the results of internet and mobile advertising in the US over the past several years, and the findings are quite promising. From 2013 to 2014, mobile increased its share of all advertising revenues from 17% to 25%, making it the second largest advertising format after desktop searches. Putting a monetary value to this share increase is even more impressive—revenues from mobile advertising increased a substantial 76%, bringing in a total of $12.5 billion (this is in the US alone!).

David Silverman, PwC partner, sums it up well with the statement:

“High double-digit growth in mobile advertising is a reflection of the continued shift in consumer behavior away from desktop and towards mobile devices.  A prominent rise in Social, a significant mobile activity, is driving growth in advertising revenue as consumers spend more time connected.”

Profitability across Devices

A point which could be very relevant in your advertising strategy is considering which type of device your users tend to have and comparing this to the traffic and revenue results seen by the various devices and operating systems. 

According to the most recent Opera MediaWorks report , Android boasted a significantly higher traffic share than iOS throughout 2014, and has continued to do so through the first quarter of 2015 (65% for Android and 22% for iOS, determined by number of impressions). Being that Android devices have experienced a much higher level of traffic, it makes sense that concerning revenue sources, it comes in first place as well—but surprisingly it is only by a nominal amount (less than .5%). 

Although the Android operating system appears to be the overall winner, in terms of monetization, the results are flipped. In this situation, the definition of monetization is the proportion of revenue to traffic, and iOS devices are significantly ahead in this measure, with the iPad being the overall top performer regarding monetization.


The advertising format with the most buzz is, without a doubt, video advertising. With all of the most popular social networks adopting and displaying this format throughout their platforms, it has proven to be one of the most successful ways to engage the viewer (and to achieve a high level of monetization). Although the cost of the video format is much higher than other options, the potential benefits seem to make this investment worthwhile—video advertising dominates in terms of click-through rates in comparison to all other contenders .  

Native advertisements are also on the rise and are the perfect solution for those concerned with the risk of reducing user experience due to advertisements. Native ads are less invasive to the user as they blend in and take on the overall look of the content surrounding them. Basically, they have a less tacky, spammy look to them than other advertising formats can sometimes yield, which this results in more trust from the user, and therefore a higher click-through rate. Native advertising is a big focus of our roadmap right now, as we see a huge amount of potential in what it could bring to GoodBarber apps. 

Of course there are many other advertising formats that are available and effective, but video and native were, and continue to be, the two trendiest of 2014 and the present.

If it’s between selling your app for a fee or including advertisements to profit off of an app, we usually advise on going with the latter. Advertisements don’t need to be a nuisance—with a proper strategy and consideration for your users you can create a relevant and even enjoyable, useful experience for them. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different advertising options in your app, check out your options in the Add-ons store and start earning some extra cash!