SOURCE: Pontiflex Inc.

Pontiflex Inc.

January 27, 2011 12:29 ET

Survey Finds Nearly Half of Mobile App Users Report Clicking on Mobile Ads by Mistake

New Findings From Pontiflex Also Highlight Strong Consumer Preference for In-App Mobile Advertising

BROOKLYN, NY--(Marketwire - January 27, 2011) -  According to a new survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Pontiflex in December 2010, 47 percent of mobile app users say they click/tap on mobile ads more often by mistake than they do on purpose. Given that mobile advertising models typically charge advertisers for clicks, the survey findings indicate that a large portion of mobile ad dollars are wasted. In a related December 2010 survey, 71 percent of mobile app users stated that they prefer ads that keep them within the app they are using, instead of ads that take them out of the app to a mobile web browser, further reinforcing the need for mobile advertising to move away from a model based on clicks.

With more than 10 billion apps downloaded, both free and paid apps for the Apple and Android platforms have registered explosive growth. According to the Pontiflex survey, 95 percent of mobile app users use free apps and 41 percent use paid apps. This trend is prevalent even among more affluent demographics -- 96 percent of mobile apps users with HHI $75K plus said they use free apps. The strong consumer usage of free apps highlights the importance of mobile app advertising, which has emerged as an important revenue stream for publishers and app developers to help keep apps free.

The findings of this survey have important implications for mobile marketers.

With the high incidence of accidental clicks, advertisers cannot continue to use traditional online ad units and measurement models -- namely banners and click-through rates -- as a way to deploy and measure the success of mobile campaigns. Furthermore, the survey suggests that advertisers should deploy in-app advertising models to engage consumers in a way that is consistent with their preferences. 

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • 61 percent of mobile apps users ages 18-34 click/tap on mobile ads by accident more often than on purpose
  • Almost two-thirds of mobile app users selected ads that contain coupons, deals or newsletters as their preferred in-app mobile ad type
  • Mobile apps are popular across all age groups
    • Usage is highest among users 18-34 years old

"People are turned off by advertising that causes them to stop what they are doing and disrupts their experience," said Deb Swider, Director, eMarketing at the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). "The mobile advertising solutions that are going to work are those that are respectful of user experience."

The ASPCA uses Pontiflex AppLeads to run mobile signup ads within a large variety of apps. Signup ads enable people to opt-in to advertisements without having to click out of the app. Signup ads are served at non-disruptive points in app usage such as when the user opens the app, between game levels or during a ringtone download. They are never displayed during active app usage thereby eliminating the possibility of accidental clicks. With Pontiflex AppLeads, advertisers pay only for qualified signups. They never have to pay for wasted clicks or impressions.

"Clicks aren't an effective way of measuring mobile ad campaigns and these survey findings prove it," said Zephrin Lasker, co-founder and CEO, Pontiflex. "First, by taking the user out of the app to a clunky browser, clicks make for a disruptive experience. Second, the fact that most people say they click on ads by mistake more often than they do on purpose is particularly striking. If you are a mobile marketer, why would you run a Cost-Per-Click campaign?" 

Harris Interactive conducted two online surveys in the United States on behalf of Pontiflex in December 2010. The first was conducted from Dec. 14-16, 2010 among 2,052 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, and the second was conducted from Dec. 27-29, 2010 among 2,118 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Tiffany Sumner, Director of Marketing, Pontiflex, at

About Pontiflex
Pontiflex is the industry's leading mobile, e-mail and social acquisition platform. Pontiflex's patent-pending technology makes advertising relevant by connecting people to the brands that matter to them. Pontiflex lets people sign up for ads on websites, blogs and in mobile and social media apps to get deals and information from brands and organizations that they like. Advertisers only pay for signups -- the actual data from people who have chosen to hear from them. Be it moms who sign up for the Kimberly-Clark HUGGIES "Enjoy the Ride" Loyalty Program, pet lovers who sign up to help save animals with ASPCA or shoppers who sign up to get fashion insider information from Tommy Hilfiger, millions of people use Pontiflex every day to receive the right ads from their favorite brands and organizations.

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