NEW DELHI: Further confirmation of India's burgeoning mobile market has come from a leading mobile advertising platform which reported the number of delivered impressions had risen 260% in the year to July.

Opera Mediaworks also noted an "aggressive transformation" of the marketplace in a special edition of its State of Mobile Advertising Report, as people switched from feature phones to smartphones, led by Android devices with iOS struggling to make inroads.

"The biggest trend that we identified was really about future opportunity," Mahi de Silva, ceo/Opera Mediaworks, told the Economic Times, as he pointed to the finding that users shifting to smartphones showed above average interest, for India, in certain categories, including news & information, arts & entertainment, and business, finance & investing.

"Given the high monetisation we've seen from these categories on a global level, it's clear that both advertisers and publishers that can deliver rich user experiences on mobile sites and apps in those categories are going to be successful in India as well," he said.

But feature phones are still the main phone type and simple banner ads dominate the Indian market, with only 3.2% of impressions being rich-media creative. That small proportion already produces some 26% of revenue, however, showing the huge potential that exists.

Mobile advertising in India is dominated by games and mobile devices, which together account for almost half (48.2%) of all impressions. Classified ads for items like cars and bicycles make up around one fifth.

As with the rest of the world, the report found that social sites were most widely used by advertisers in India.

Globally, music, video & media, news & information and arts & entertainment sites were the next most popular, but a different picture was evident in India where app stores, gaming and education sites led the way.

As regards mobile users, around one fifth were classified as frequent users, accessing the mobile web almost every day and these received over 60% of all impressions served.

Data sourced from Opera Mediaworks, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff