Mobile body looks to create traffic measurement system

LONDON - The GSM Association, the global organisation for the mobile phone sector, is working with the five major UK mobile networks and ABCe to develop an audience measurement system for mobile media.

Adidas: increasing mobile spend
Adidas: increasing mobile spend

Henry Stevens, director of media and entertainment for the GSMA, said there is a need to create a common methodology for measuring traffic to mobile media.

ABCe is working with GSMA to develop the concept into a defined operating system. Richard Foan, managing director of ABCe, said: "ABCe has worked with GSMA to ensure the project is working to JICWEBS (the digital traffic measurement body) standards."

Despite increased efforts by clients, media owners and agencies in recent years, mobile is yet to emerge as a mainstream ad channel. The total UK mobile advertising market will be worth only £24.9m in 2012, up from £7.4m in 2008, according to Screen Digest.

Steve Ricketts, head of third-party services at Orange, said a standard measurement system was essential for mobile to take off as a major ad channel, while Richard Saggers, group head of mobile advertising, Vodafone Group, said a key part of the company's strategy with regards to mobile advertising was to "invest effort and activity in developing standards" for mobile metrics.

With the support of Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone UK, O2 and 3, as well as the International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations, GSMA's Stevens was keen to stress that the mobile traffic measure being developed would be for use on a global scale. He also touched on the sensitive issue of user data, revealing that, even before it is aggregated, all user information would be anonymous.

The system will become increasingly important as brands look to increase their mobile activity. Chris Barbour, global digital marketing, sport style, Adidas, said the brand's global spend on mobile advertising will increase by 10% in 2009.

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