Android Users: Natural Born Clickers?

I'm an Android EVO user and I rarely click on ads, but that's apparently not true of my Android brethren and sistren. According to ad network Chitika, "people on the Android OS clicked on ads 81% more often than people on the iPhone." Chitika quickly comes to the conclusion that 'Android users [are] 80% more valuable than iPhone users." However I wouldn't equally jump to that immediate conclusion. 

CTR of Android vs Apple

Ad mediator/exchange Smaato previously found, similarly, (in February) that Android users clicked-through more than iPhone users: 

 Smaato Mobile Advertising Metrics

But later Smaato reports, as Android penetration grew, saw its CTR position decline. Compare July numbers for the US and then globally:

 Smaato Mobile Advertising Metrics
Smaato Mobile Advertising Metrics

There may be some novelty around mobile advertising for many Android users, especially if they've upgraded from feature phones and this is their first smartphone. However, the Smaato figures suggest that the Chitika numbers will similarly change in a few months after the newbie Androids become jaded and embittered.

Once again, however, this all begs the question of whether we should be paying any attention to CTRs on mobile ads (other than paid search). If there's a lead-gen form on a landing page or a store locator, then arguably yes. But otherwise CTR is probably the wrong metric.

It's an easy, lowest-common denominator metric so people gravitate to it. But comScore has repeatedly argued and shown that CTR is the wrong metric to assess the efficacy of onlne display advertising. That should equally apply to mobile. 

There are a range of metrics that mobile marketers can and should be using to assess the success of their campaigns, depending on their objectives. The generic CTR is not necessarily very helpful or meaningful in terms of brand lift, purchase intent or other actions that mean something in the real world.