As expected, five UK-based mobile operators have started sharing data with comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) and the GSMA in an attempt to eliminate two of the biggest problems facing the mobile content industry: lack of consistency and transparency in reporting mobile internet trends.
In the first report released today, preliminary results found that 16 million people in the UK accessed the Internet from their mobile phones in December and viewed a total of 6.7 billion pages. The sites that received the most unique visitors include Facebook, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and carrier portals including Telefonica (NYSE: TEF), Orange and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD). The data was based on information from three carriers, by January they expect to include data from four operators, and all five should be up and running in the second quarter. Release.
The two leading the charge, ComScore and the GSMA, are clear in saying the user data is “anonymized” to maintain the subscribers’ privacy. In a release, Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA, said: “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.”
Earlier this month, a similar report was released in the U.S. by a Seattle-based startup called Ground Truth. It operates a little different from comScore and the GSMA. It has not revealed which carriers it is working, and has also chosen to get data from infrastructure companies. But the goal is the same: to get real information rather than to rely on customer surveys, analyst estimates, or other third-party reports. In a sample size of 2.5 million unique U.S. mobile web users, they viewed nearly 1 billion page views and downloaded 27.8 trillion bytes of data.