Liftoff, a global performance-based mobile app marketing optimisation platform, highlights for the second year in a row, the promise of Android for mobile marketers and features a surprising year-over-year flip in the value of the video ad format.
Plus, after a year of dramatic user engagement changes, the data sees notable dips in acquisition costs across key app categories.
Liftoff’s latest report analysed nearly 400 billion impressions across 6.2 billion clicks, 275 million installs and 7.7 million first-time events in about 1,800 apps between January 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020 to find the following:
2021 may be Android’s year for ad creative
With IDFA changes on the horizon, the data shows that the coming year in ad creative may be Android’s for the taking.
Customer acquisition costs favour Android, with costs to acquire a purchasing user 3x higher on iOS. This past year, CPAs for traditional banner ads on iOS clocked in at roughly $36.77 — 3.5x more costly than Android’s $10.28 and the largest difference of any ad format. But conversions are the real tipping point, split by ad type at 50/50. Interstitial ads and banner ads perform 52% and 22% higher on Android devices, respectively. Native ads still convert more users on iOS, but with only a minor lead of 10%.
This is good news for those planning to spend more on Android in 2021 — which, according to Liftoff data, is roughly a third of mobile marketers.
“With IDFA user tracking changes on the way, there’s an opportunity for Android to drive extra value in the near term given its relative stability,” explains Liftoff CEO and co-founder Mark Ellis. “The new iOS policy doesn’t discount iOS by any means, and marketers will still be able to deliver successful campaigns in a post-IDFA world working with the right partners — but the data shows that this year is putting Android neck-and-neck with iOS, and could offer some great value for marketers.”
Is the spotlight on video ads fading as ROI drops?
Video ads were a smart and strategic investment last year — driving 60% higher purchase rates than banners for mere pennies more. But this year, the video spotlight is fading: in a dramatic year-over-year flip, the format now offers the lowest return on ad spend (ROAS). Despite slightly lower costs year-over-year, the category is still the priciest among ad types ($47) and, notably, the only category whose conversion rates declined year-over-year (down 1.5%).
Video isn’t a lost cause by any means, with COVID-19 driving increased mobile use and generating a more captive audience for long-form video ads. Still, marketers looking for peak advertising engagement at moderate costs may wish to consider different methods. Interstitials, for example, delivered the highest engagement at moderate costs. This form has already demonstrated substantial value among gaming apps, with the highest conversion rates among ad types (8.1%).
Shopping and finance apps booming, ad creative excels
Apps that drive longer value in the COVID-19 era, like shopping and finance apps, have had thestrongest retention rates over the past year, and the data sees that loyalty reflected in acquisition costs. Shopping apps saw a cost decrease between 75% to 85% year-over-year across all ad formats, the highest being for interstitial ads. In finance apps, banner and native ad costs both saw a dramatic drop of nearly 91%, with video and interstitial formats decreasing 72% and 62% respectively.
User acquisition costs are at all-time-lows across the board, and with mobile use higher than ever before, it’s never been a better time to be a mobile marketer.