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Study: Mobile Internet Users Cold-Shoulder Advertisers

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 8:15am
Andrew Berg

Mobile Internet users are less likely to click on ads than are those users browsing the Web from a desktop, according to a report released today.

Chitika, a Massachusetts-based online advertising network, says mobile Internet users were about half as likely to click on an advertisement as were non-mobile users.

Of the 92 million impressions upon which the study was based, about 1.3 million (1.5 percent) came from mobile browsing. While non-mobile held steady with a 0.83 percent click-through rate, mobile as a whole pulled in a mere 0.48 percent.

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 click-through rate, coming in at a dismal 0.3 percent. iPhone also accounted for the bulk of mobile hits, at 66 percent.

The group that 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 findings were perhaps counter-intuitive to what many would have thought. The wireless industry typically has been enthusiastic about the mobile channel being accepting of advertising. The report concludes that mobile Internet users are disinterested in advertising at an extremely high rate, "and iPhone users are leading the charge."

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