Posted by: Mark Hawkins | February 5, 2010

GSMA, comscore & Mobile Media Metrics

London’s BFI IMAX was yesterday’s impressive setting for the GSMA’s launch of Mobile Media Metrics (MMM).

Giant faces on the UK’s largest cinema screen told us – in a suitably well produced video – how revolutionary MMM is, how mobile is now like the internet was ten years ago (which it feels like we’ve been saying for around five and could keep saying another five), and how this will feed new life into mobile marketing and advertising.

Brands will be able to access anonymised mobile internet usage data from all five UK operators, giving media buyers and brands new visibility about which sites attract the kind of visitors they want to target.

The GSMA, a global trade body for mobile network operators and carriers, combined with one of the industry’s most respected analyst numbercrunchers, comScore, to deliver the product. Encouraging noises from the official press included:

“..we anticipate that it will accelerate growth in the mobile advertising market. The underlying principle of Mobile Media Metrics is to deliver valuable and actionable reporting tools to the media industry, while respecting the privacy of individuals. Access to transparent measurement is essential in establishing mobile as a legitimate advertising medium, and Mobile Media Metrics is a critical element in advancing this process.”

Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA

Here’s a hastily snapped shot of the interface.

The MMM service gives aggregated metrics of mobile browsing behaviour, a much requested range of statistics. This gives the ability to analyse sites using page views, time spent on specific sites, and device types and features.

My sense was that the first-line technical delivery infrastructures had been in place for some time; this launch was as much a celebration of mobile network operator fineprint and technical cohesion.

We were also given some nice browsing numbers and fat bar charts, based on pre-production data, which reflected the mobile web dominance of Facebook.

Top 10 UK Mobile Internet Sites in December 2009 were:

(total minutes – 000s)

Facebook.com 2,156,886
Google Sites 395,576
Microsoft Sites 165,725
Orange Sites 138,529
AOL (inc. Bebo) 106,446
Apple Inc. 104,118
Vodafone Group 89,126
BBC Sites 83,614
Flirtomatic 54,503
Yahoo! Sites 48,685

In time, the GSMA and comScore will also develop richer MMM products to measure mobile usage of applications, search, reach and frequency, ad tracking, and ad effectiveness, and connect to Kantar Media’s Target Group Index (TGI). Wi-Fi traffic will be scrutinised via site measurement with comScore’s Media Metrix 360 solution, giving a segmented view of online and mobile browsing habits.

Up to now mobile analytics has been frequently spoken of as vital in persuading brands aboard the mobile train. Bango have led the march in marketing Analytics as a mobile product, although tracking and reporting facilities are offered to some degree by other technical providers.

out of the shadows..

However, it seems unlikely that there’s ever been an analytics product launch with the flourish and dazzle of MMM. Operator funding evidently helps this, (some might suggest that Payforit could have warranted similar treatment).

Arguably more used to flourish and dazzle are mobile applications: the things which have helped to drive the mobile train over the last year. These were only mentioned in passing. While contingencies are in place to measure advertising within apps, there’s a limit to what new metrics can be generated in the space.

MMM could be perceived as the mobile operators’ bold public riposte to the rise of other media players, as well as an assertively planted stake in the ground of mobile web’s longevity over mobile applications.

Their data still holds enormous power if they can unify, deliver and present it smoothly. Now the challenge is to get it used.

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