Appia Explains the Mobile Ecosystem


The mobile advertising industry is growing at an unprecedented scale. This has become a complex business landscape scattered with obstacles, opportunities and trends. Appia, a leading mobile advertising network, has mapped out this rapidly evolving industry in a webinar, entitled the Mobile Advertising Ecosystem, presented by Archie O’Connor, Appia’s Vice President of Business Development in North America.

You can find the recording here:

The PPT below is the full slide deck covered in the webinar recording:

We’ve also summarised the key points from the webinar below:

The mobile landscape

As we all know, the mobile advertising industry has witnessed ‘hockey stick’ growth in revenue; this translates to advertising revenue of $8.9bn in 2012, and a whopping increase of 82.8% since 2011. On top of this revenue from in app advertisement has vastly increased, directing more advertisers to this new channel.

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This has lead to some dramatic changes in user behaviour:

  • 52% of users claim to have acted on an ad in an app.
  • 18% have made a direct purchase from an ad in an app.
  • 44% of adults spend their “media time” engaged with digital devices, of which mobiles are in the lead.


The large scale growth of the mobile advertising industry has in itself created obstacles. The infrastructure behind this growth is made up of a lot of fragmented activities and disparate systems, creating a more unified approach is greatly hindered by competition between the major mobile device developers. Operating systems are adopting protocols and standards at a much later stage rather than collaborating right from the start.

Google has tightened its controls on advertising with the recent policy update

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Google Play Clean up

  • no longer enables push notifications and icon drops, a major tool in app discovery.
  • Pro – cleaner system, more appealing the marketers.
  • Con – less competition in the app market, already 60% of apps in the leading markets undiscovered and unused.

Device optimisation

  • a diversity of devices and operating systems, especially in the android market
  • Pro – Diverse range of screens and channels available
  • Con – Still waiting on a unified rule for all devices to improve app development

Performance measurement

  • Pro – Despite being 10 years behind online advertising, mobile advertising growth is ten-fold that of its internet counterpart
  • Con – We are still in early stages so performances metrics have not yet been set.


There are two key areas for opportunities in mobile advertising. The main one being location based advertising, tailoring our ads based on location and personal interests, using information taken directly from devices and networks. For example, with the rapid uptake of automatic GPS tracking, ads are able to adapt in real time, depending on the country the user is currently situated in.

Advantages of Performance Measurement

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Location based advertising

Location info currently utilised in advertising:

  • Global location 47%
  • Personal interests 49%

Mobile privacy standards

  • Already more advanced than desktop privacy standards, e.g malware, spam block
  • Steps already taken to improve privacy standards:
  • Sunset of unique device identifier
  • Federal Trade Commission mobile privacy reports
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Opportunities for additional improvement

  • ID for Advertisers
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau
  • Mobile marketing association



Mobile trends move in a quick and often unpredictable ways. Below are some of the current trends and opportunities that can be gained from joining them. Surprisingly, challenges faced in developing apps for android also create opportunities, utilising a product that still holds a huge share in the mobile market.


  • Over half of mobile traffic is used for video consumption, but only 8% of ad dollars are spent on video
  • In app is the best way to deliver video content
  • Tip: make your video interactive

In app game demos

  • This concept is really taking off in many of the gaming channels.
  • Pro – compelling opening experience, video ad space is already being priced at a premium so these ads can bring in a higher ROI.
  • Con – potential lag and concern over data usage.

Localised creative

Language localisation created an increase of:

  • 42% increase in click through rates
  • 22% increase in conversion rate
  • Allowdmarketers to tap into the global market.

Android over iOS

Current advantages include:

  • Larger global adoption.
  • Wider ad reach.
  • Fiercely loyal developer community.
  • Free access to developer tools.

Android will continue to hold the larger market share due to its diversity and openness.

Increased advertising budgets

Consumers spend 23% of their media time in apps, yet advertisers only spend 1% of their budget on these adverts.

The role of the user

It is vital to ensure your ad looks good and works across all devices, this is one of the major challenges that must be overcome by mobile advertisers. One of the most obvious diversities is screen size and resolution.There is always room for improvement and one of the ways to achieve this is by moving away from incentivised advertising, e.g your push notifications and icon drops, and move towards effective post install plans, such as in game purchases and level up incentives.

What makes a good post-install plan

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How to drive more monetisation

An up sell strategy should be critical to your overall marketing plan. It has been the basis of many of the leading apps.

Key points to remember:

  • Build, test and iterate.
  • Size matters, to download over 20mb you require an internet connection.
  • Take advantage of different traffic sources, but stick with the partner that brings in the highest quality users.


What will the mobile landscape look like in a year from now?
Whatever you do put the consumer first, and follow empirical data not anecdotal data. We are likely to see more success and channels through app discovery.

What channels should mobile advertisers be going for?
For the Smart phone, performance based advertising, i.e. CPA will continue to dominate and should be pursued.

Will shared protocols and standards become more common?
It’s inevitable that will have standardisation but it is still many years away.

You can find more about this webinar over on the Appia site and see the Appia profile in our mobile advertising directory or check out our Appia Review