India beats US, China in mobile ads, games on BuzzCity

India is the world number 1 in mobile advertising and gaming on BuzzCity, a Singapore-based mobile ad network.

The country has beaten bigger rivals like the US and China in both mobile web advertising as well as in downloads of games. The number reflects BuzzCity’s own focus on the APAC market and may not true for the industry as a whole.

The number of ad banners served on mobile browsers in India reached a record 2.4 billion in March, up from around 1.25 billion banners just six months ago, making India not only the biggest, but also the fastest growing market of any size.

In comparison, the US saw only 0.6 billion ad banners displayed on mobile phones during the month of March — one fourth that of India.

India accounted for 25% of all the banner ads shown on mobile phones across the world during the first three months of the year.

The second place in mobile ads was with Indonesia, with around 1.4 billion shown during March — relatively flat compared to the previous six months.

That said, however, the banner ads in the US fetched a recommended price of around 8 cents per click, those in Indonesia fetched 5 cents while Indian mobile ads fetched just 3 cents (Rs 1.38) per click.

It must, however, be noted that mobile banner ads is only part of the mobile advertising pie. Advertising seen on the mobile on normal websites — such as those viewed on a large-screen phone like the iPhone, may not to be counted among mobile ads.

Tellingly, Nokia was the top phone for India, accounting for 56% of the users, while HTC — which has several android models — was the top phone for the US, accounting for 25% of the users.

50 million out of the 700 million mobile phone users accessed at least one site with BuzzCity’s mobile ad banners during March.

India also led the world in mobile gaming, with nearly 15 million downloads during the first three months of this year, a 24% jump compared to the preceding three months. In comparison, US had just 0.88 million downloads of mobile games and China, 0.32 million.

The primary reason for the continued growth of mobile ads and games in India was cricket, Buzzcity pointed out.

“In India, continued growth of user activity was matched with advertiser interest. This resulted in an increase of 44% in banners served [quarter on quarter].

“User activity was centered on cricket and 50% of game downloads in India were related to cricket. Advertisers and developers took advantage of this and launched cricket-themed applications, games and marketing campaigns,” it said.

[April 24: The story has been corrected to reflect that BuzzCity’s numbers are reflective only for its own customers and universe and may not reflect industry statistics accurately.]