India has become the single-most powerful driver in the Asia-Pacific market, with mobile ad impressions growing 260 per cent year-on-year.
The growth is largely due to the country's rapid shift from feature phones to smart devices in the past few years, with Android dominating the market with a 41.7 per cent share, compared to iOS' tiny 0.4 per cent share.
A report on the region's growth by Opera Mediaworks found that social sites and apps are the popular in terms of usage, mirroring trends seen around the globe. Advertisements served tend to be for games and mobile devices, which together make up 48.1 per cent of all impressions. However, classified ads also performed well, with around 20 per cent of impressions dedicated to the direct sale of personal transportation such as cars, motorcycles and bikes.
Study the user base, the report found that the Indian mobile advertising audience is young, with 60 per cent in the 18-24 age range, and 82 per cent male. Around half are 'occasional' users, accessing the mobile web only 1-2 time a week, but 21.6 per cent use the mobile web every day.
"The biggest trend that we identified was really about future opportunity," said Mahi de Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks. "Mobile users in India who have shifted to smartphones have done so with Android, and we can see that those users are far more interested in categories like New & Information, Arts & Entertainment and Business, Finance & Investing than the India average.
"Given the high monetisation we've seen from these categories on a global level, it's clear that both advertisers and publishers that can deliver rich user experiences on mobile sites and apps in those categories are going to be successful in India as well."