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First Look Latin America Now the Fastest-Growing Mobile Advertising MarketGuess what region has taken the lead as the fastest-growing mobile ad market globally? If you guessed Latin America (LatAm), you’d be correct. It now has cornered 8 percent of the global market.

That info comes to us in an exclusive first look from Opera Mediaworks. With a reach of more than 1.1 billion consumers each month, this company is in a good position to know.

In fact, according to Opera Mediawords, three LatAm countries — Mexico, Brazil and Argentina — have catapulted to the company’s Top 10 list of all countries by mobile ad traffic.

The report, which was created in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and shared with MAW, shows several distinct regional trends in monetization, ad formats, OS share, and mobile media-consumption patterns.

For starters, “on top of being the fastest growing region globally, Latin America also has the highest monetization potential, compared to other emerging markets (Asia Pacific and Africa),” according to the release we received. “Mobile ads served within the region generate more revenue per impression than either of these two regions, with a ratio of 1 to 0.87 (global average is 1:1). When narrowed down to just the top five LatAm countries, the discrepancy drops even lower, to a ratio of 1 to 0.92.”

In addition, video ads continue to grow in popularity. Brazil, Colombia and Chile all have high ratios of video impression share to a total impression share of more than 1:1, with Chile the clear leader at nearly 4:1.

Interestingly, Android is the top OS in LatAm.

“More than 8 out of every 10 mobile users (80.7 percent) in Latin America have mobile devices with the Android operating system, followed by iOS at 14.1 percent,” noted the release. “While just 5.2 percent of users are on “other” operating systems (e.g., BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian, Java), the number of impressions per user on these OS’s is significantly higher than the global averages.”

In Latin America, while mobile traffic (as measured by ad impressions) gravitates to sports sites and apps — at nearly 3X the global average — revenue doesn’t necessarily follow.

“Sports might be the most popular category for Latin American mobile consumers, but they tend to seek fast information, like the score of a football match and are less likely to engage in advertising,” observes Gaston Bercún, Co-President of Opera Mediaworks in LatAm.

“We found, however, that Entertainment, while having lower traffic volume, monetizes really well because users are in a ‘want’ state and engaging more deeply with the mobile content. They pay far more attention to the ad messaging and are responding positively to long-form ad creative,” he said.

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