The study, first reported by VentureBeat, tracked more than 200 billion Facebook advertisements from over 100 advertisers on Nanigans' platform through the first nine months of 2013. Nanigans is one of the world's largest buyers of advertising on Facebook.
According to the report, it costs only a slight premium to place Facebook ads on iOS devices --?$4.99 per thousand impressions (CPM) versus $4.87 for Android. Average cost per click (CPC), or the amount an advertiser pays when a user clicks on one of those ad impressions, is wildly more disparate, however. Advertisers pay $0.18 per click on Android against $0.40 per click on iOS.
That disparity continues on the revenue side of the equation, the report says. Revenue per click (RPC) is pegged at 6 times higher on iOS, while return on investment (ROI) is 18 times higher.
Despite the low CPM and CPC numbers, advertising on Android actually yields negative ROI --?it costs advertisers more money to place the ads than they make, to the tune of a 10 percent loss, according to the report. iOS advertisements, meanwhile, bring healthy returns of more than 160 percent.
"Audiences cost more on iPhone, and the reason is that it's worth it," Nanigans SVP Dan Slagen said. "Typically, we're not looking to acquire one-time customers, we're looking to invest over time...so we pay more up front for better long-term results."