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opamagid-response-to-smartphone-ads-august2012.pngRoughly 1 in 4 smartphone users have purchased applications or mobile web content over their devices (“content buyers”), according to [pdf] a joint survey by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and Frank N. Magid Associates. 79% of those content buyers took some action after seeing a smartphone ad, with 24% saying they made a purchase at a store as a result.

The 79% of content buyers responding to an ad represents about twice the proportion of smartphone “content consumers” (the general smartphone user sample) who have done so in the past 6 months (39%). In each of 11 possible actions identified in response to a mobile ad, content buyers outpace content consumers by at least 100%, including: clicking through on an ad (31% vs. 15%); using a special offer or coupon (30% vs. 12%); making a purchase on a PC (27% vs. 12%); making a purchase at a store (24% vs. 12%); researching a brand on a search engine (24% vs. 12%); going to a brand website (24% vs. 11%); going to a brand Facebook page (24% vs. 10%); making a purchase on a mobile phone (23% vs. 8%); and making a purchase by phone call (19% vs. 7%).

Content Buyers Are More Receptive To Mobile Ads

Content buyers’ increased responsiveness to smartphone ads is due to a higher opinion they hold of them than content consumers. For example, 38% of content buyers see smartphone ads as the same as internet ads, compared to 28% of content consumers. Content buyers are also more likely to describe smartphone ads as hard to ignore (42% vs. 26%), eye-catching (29% vs. 17%), relevant (26% vs. 15%), and unique and interesting (25% vs. 14%).

Perhaps most importantly, 23% of content buyers report that smartphone ads motivate them to purchase products, compared to 12% of content consumers, and one-quarter are more motivated to research products, compared to 14% of smartphone users.

Video Top Purchase Category for Content Buyers

The OPA/Magid survey revealed that among 18 types of content, video is the most commonly purchased by content buyers (22%), followed by entertainment, books, and movies (each at 21%), weather (19%), TV shows (18%), news and sports (15%), and magazine, business/professional and lifestyle content (each at 14%).

The least popular content purchases are in the fashion/beauty (8%), broadcast-cable TV (9%), fitness/health (10%), and reference (10%) categories. This relative disregard for fitness/health content is despite a report from Millennial Media showing that the fitness/health category upped its mobile ad spend by 111% year-over-year in Q1.

App Purchases Preferred for Most Categories

The OPA study also finds that smartphone content buyers are more apt to pay for apps than mobile web content in 9 of the 13 identified categories. These include lifestyle (21% apps vs. 9% mobile web content) and business/professional (20% apps vs. 9% mobile web content).

Video and entertainment lead in mobile web content purchases, each at 13% of content buyers.

Least popular for app purchases are the reference category (4% of buyers), while least popular for mobile web content purchases are the fashion/beauty (4%), and fitness/health (5%) categories.

Other Findings:

  • iPhone content consumers are twice as likely to buy apps as Android content consumers (70% vs. 34%).
  • 16% of iPhone owners report being motivated to purchase by smartphone ads, compared to 13% of Android owners. They are also more likely to take an action after seeing a smartphone ad (45% vs. 38%).

About The Data: The Online Publishers Association (OPA) collaborated with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. for data analysis and insight. Data comes from a nationally representative online survey of 2,540 internet users between the ages of 8 and 64. The sample is matched to the US Census with regard to age and gender. Data was collected from March 19 through March 26, 2012. A third-party online research panel and data collection firm was used for recruitment and data collection.

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