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OPINION5 February 2010

GSMA and ComScore set out to make 2010 the year of mobile

News Opinion

In advertising, money follows eyeballs – but you need metrics that show what people are looking at. Little surprise, then, to see so much enthusiasm greet the launch of the GSMA Mobile Media Metrics product, a move many see as marking the dawn of the era of mobile.

‘Triumphalist’ best summed-up the collective mood in the room at the launch of the GSMA’s Mobile Media Metrics product, which delivers census-level data on mobile internet usage. Few of those gathered for the event at the IMAX cinema in London’s Southbank needed convincing of the importance of mobile as a marketing medium and the central role the mobile web plays in many people’s lives. In my field of vision alone there was at least 10 people (not including myself) wielding handsets as they listened; checking emails, updating Facebook, Twittering, snapping pictures and sharing photos online.

What these people were all craving, and what they welcomed so positively, was the promise of a robust set of data that justifies their commitment to the mobile marketing cause and their conviction that we are witnessing the dawn of the era of mobile. For them, the GSMA and its research partner ComScore clearly delivered. Data teased by Paul Goode, ComScore’s senior vice president of census solution, presented a view of mobile as the social media access device. Where the internet is about finding information, the mobile web is about finding people.

“Wow. The mobile social web indeed… Comscore – Facebook absolutely slaughters everyone else – over 5 x Google in mobile page views #gsmammm”

@timbharrison via Twitter

It was unsurprising to see Facebook come out top in a ranking of sites by unique visitor numbers, followed closely by Google and the mobile operators’ web properties. However gasps accompanied the page view stats and time-spent figures. According to ComScore, Facebook can claim almost three times as many page views as its nearest competitor while time spent with the social networking site is more than five times greater than any other website. Looked at cumulatively, people spend more time online with social networks using their mobile devices than they do via the PC-based web.

“We can already see that [consumer] eyeballs are moving away from traditional media to online, and more and more to mobile,” said GSMA CEO Rob Conway, “and in advertising, money follows eyeballs.”

Clearly many in the business are expecting to see a real financial benefit from the development of MMM, not least IPA president Rory Sutherland who joshed that the sudden influx of money is likely to ruin future mobile industry gatherings “rather like the discovery of oil turning a country’s population to twats” – with camaraderie and collaboration quickly replaced by rampant competition between mobile ad agencies and publishers.

So, ‘triumphalist’ then, but not without good reason. For a start, its taken the GSMA, working with all the major operators – O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3UK – just three years to develop a metrics system that aims to serve as a common planning currency, whereas attempts to achieve something similar in online date back to 2001 and have only recently come to fruition. As ISBA director Bob Wootton said: “Mobile has grasped the importance of measurement much faster than online.”

“Mobile Media Metrics delivers a common currency for advertisers & brands. UK now leads the world on Mobile Ads #gsmammm”

@prmonkeyman via Twitter

On more than one occasion attendees and speakers also expressed pride that the UK was the first off the mark with a mobile metrics system, and that other countries would soon follow suit. Discussions around doing something similar in the US are already underway, said ComScore’s Goode. As for where else the system might by replicated, one need only look at the geographic coverage of the mobile operators to make an educated guess.

It is a running joke in the US marketing industry to declare each new year ‘the year of the mobile’. Now in the UK, with the launch of GSMA Mobile Media Metrics, there’s every possibility that’s how 2010 will be remembered.

5 Comments

9 years ago

I would like some clarity around te statement "Looked at cumulatively, people spend more time online with social networks using their mobile devices than they do via the PC-based web." What this is saying is that "people" are accessing social networks for more time from mobile devices than PCs. Given that it based on "people" one has to presume that this quantum includes those that do not have web-enabled mobile device. The claim in the article that mobile access exceeds PC access jto social networks ust doesn't seem right to me - mind you, my frame of reference is Australia. Of course, maybe what the article may have meant to say is that "Looked at cumulatively, OF THE people WHO ALSO ACCESS SOCIAL NETWORKS USING A MOBILE DEVICE, THEY spend more time online with social networks using their mobile devices than they do via the PC-based web." Very different statements if my suspicion is correct.

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9 years ago

Hi John, Thanks for your comment. If you'd like to dig in to the data, you can download the GSMA MMM presentation here: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2010/gsmammm The chart you're looking for is PDF page 24. It plots 'average minutes per usage day' data from both MMM and ComScore Media Metrix. Regards, Brian

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9 years ago

There are 1.4 billion mobile owning youth in world, as a standalone country they'd be the world's largest. 2) Youth spend $350 billion on mobile (or 15x the global recorded music industry, or $1 in every $10 of their disposable income) http://www.mobileyouthreport.com

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9 years ago

Hi Brian In a similar area to John, do you know the source of the data on page 24 of the pdf? Is it global, UK...? Or do you know of any other sources surrounding usage of mobile to upload data - comments/videos/pics etc? Best wishes Pete

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9 years ago

Hi Pete, The data you refer to is UK data. ComScore's Paul Goode could probably give you more detail if you need it - he should also be able to point you to any data they have on mobile uploads.

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