Opera Mediaworks revealed the biggest mobile advertising trends they identified in retrospect: Android emerged as global leader in smartphone ad impressions, mobile publishing exploded, and brands took big leaps with rich media

In a special year-in-review report, Opera Mediaworks, has selected the top 6 trends in mobile advertising witnessed on its mobile ad platform that reaches 400 million consumers a month via 60 billion ad impression. In a nutshell, the trends identified are the following:

1. Opera began to see the slow decline of the traditional banner ad. Though traditional banner ads still comprise more than half of all ads served on the Opera Mediaworks platform, rich-media units are on a dramatic upswing. More significantly than ad-volume share, rich-media ad units are expected to contribute to overall mobile ad revenue in the coming year.

2. Interactive voice ads made their market debut. Nuance Communications, the company behind the technology that powers Siri and Dragon Dictate, introduced a rich media ad unit that uses voice to interact with customers in 2013, so expect more campaigns featuring the voice unit in 2014.

3. Advertisers struck a balance between targeting and user privacy. In the beginning of 2013, much of mobile targeting was done with contextual information, such as device and connection type. As the year progressed, more complex types of targeting became popular as marketers saw better conversion rates from privacy-friendly optimization methods including frequency capping and segmentation by OS version.

4. In the battle for mobile ad market share, Android wins. The iPhone was and still is the No. 1 driver of mobile-ad revenue on the ad platform, consistently outperforming Android by about 10 percentage points each quarter. However, Samsung had a breakthrough year in mobile sales and drove up the total number of Android devices worldwide. By late fall, it became clear that Android was the global leader in ad impressions.

5. Publishing for mobile is now a must. In 2013, both the Apple App Store and Google Play reached the one-million-app mark, and more and more publishers optimized their websites for better performance with mobile browsers.

6. The mobile coalition of phone + tablet is displacing the desktop PC. It is now clear that “mobile” no longer means “smartphone,” and the combined force of phones and tablets is being used to complete tasks that once required a PC.

As a supplement to the report, Opera Mediaworks has released a timeline, Mobile Milestones of 2013. The timeline displays the most important moments in mobile that occurred during the year, from the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch in March and its corresponding mobile-ad campaign to the release of iOS 7 in September and its adoption by 6 in 10 of Apple mobile users within just a few weeks. To view the graphic and to read the full report, visit http://www.operamediaworks.com/insights/sma.html

By MediaBUZZ