Behind the Millennial Advertising Numbers

Behind the Millennial Advertising Numbers

Earlier today Millennial Media released the numbers form their mobile advertising ad network for the first time and it quite interesting data for everyone to take a look at, esp. the advertisers.

First, let’s quickly talk about the numbers. From the Q109 numbers, for the US market, it seems like Millennial outpaced other ad-networks including perhaps Admob (only Jan and Feb numbers are available as of this writing) as Millennial surpassed 10 Billion impressions for the quarter.

Thus, officially, we have a horse race.

But more importantly, Millennial’s numbers reveal something rather interesting, the stuff we have been talking about for sometime. In fact, we had a whole chapter in our book discussing the 5 Point Framework for Mobile Advertising: Reach, Engagement, Targeting, Viral, and Transactions. Here are some of the case studies we discussed in the book


So far, industry has been enamored with “Impressions” only. We had argued that the quality of advertising increases as you start including other factors in the technology and design of campaigns.

The graph that really caught my eye is below: (all graphs below this point are copyright Millennial Media)

PAGE 4 CPEU chart

The Audience refers to the user population that is built based on behavior and related attributes. The value is high and the performance is three times the average. Compare this to Channel (news, sports, etc.) targeting or more generic run of the network categories and you see a significant performance lift for the advertiser and a revenue boost for the value chain. And it looks like because of the performance, the Audience category dominates in Millennial’s network.

PAGE 4 campaign targeting mix

Another interesting data is what happens post-click. Impression alone means little though only mobile it is till many times better than online but we need to figure out how users interact (or get them to interact) once impression is landed and the figure below shows the distribution. Once you start comparing various campaigns and variables, a really interesting pattern will emerge which essentially will be the best practices for the industry.

PAGE 3 campaign actions

I think the best part is the measurement of user session or time which is key to the engagement metrics. Millennial reported 4:48 minutes of average user session time (90th percentile). Also, 58% requests used some level of geo info for targeting which is quite good. The handset mix was more distributed compared to the Admob network and the carrier share provided some interesting glimpse into the ecosystem as well (Sprint leads the pack). Device input mix shows the how touch devices are starting to make an impact on the device ecosystem.

PAGE 7 device input mix

PAGE 7 US carrier mix

Overall great educational material for all in the mobile advertising ecosystem to see what is happening at a granular level. I hope other networks will also publish their traffic details and we will also start to get more metrics around Targeting, Virality, and Transactions, so we can learn what works under what circumstances. This will give all the ammunition the advertisers and agencies need to wake up their analog counterparts.

Next Step – Standardization and Auditing.