While AdMob was used by 61% of developers, the next most used platform, Appnext, was used by 13%, followed by InMobi at 12%. India is also the world's second-largest smartphone market after China.
Counterpoint senior analyst Pavel Naiya said the existing Android developer ecosystem gave Google a huge advantage.
"Additionally, easier integration and better monetisation are two main factors where AdMob is leading over the others," he said.
Naiya said InMobi was easy to monetise and also was simple to integrate - the top two major factors for developers choosing a platform.
"Developers who chose Appnext highlighted the ease of integration, wider reach, and attractive affiliated revenue as some of the key reasons for adoption," he added.
"Advertising analytics metrics are standard across all major ad platforms and therefore it has the least effect on developers’ decision-making process while choosing a mobile ads platform.”
Counterpoint said the COVID-19 outbreak had provided many businesses the change to go digital and also also accelerated adoption of digital platforms by both urban and rural consumers.
Research associate Arushi Chawla said even though India was the second-biggest smartphone market, it had a low degree of Internet penetration.
"Less than half of the addressable population which is capable of using a mobile phone owns a smartphone," she said. "Further, India’s diverse cultures, languages, and high price-sensitivity have led to a digital divide and complex challenge for any app business to scale rapidly.
"The success of a new app depends on its unique offerings and building trust through a continuous awareness program, which requires investment. As a result, most of the common app categories are overcrowded, but dominated by a few established players catering to the current smartphone user base."
Chawla said the pandemic had provided a shot-in-the-arm to drive digital transformation across the board among the mobile app developer ecosystem in India.
"To cater to this growing wave of digital adoption across consumers and businesses which were never connected presents a huge monetisation opportunity for the app developers," she said.
"The ad-supported freemium model would be the most attractive strategy for the app developers to monetise this expanding addressable market.”
The Counterpoint study, which looked at these trends, also found that most apps were free in India with developers relying on advertising as the major source of revenue.
- More than 50% of mobile app developers had tried to monetise app data. Among those who had not done so, about half were interested in doing so in the future.
- Working as an “outsourced app development partner” for other companies was another major source of revenue for Indian app developers.
- Smartphone OEMs played an important role as a medium for app developers to capture or maintain customer base through pre-installation of apps.
- Developers used OEM-level deeply integrated app customisation or optimisation to provide a better user experience. Almost half of the app developers had worked with smartphone OEMs in the last two years to create deeper integration in their apps.