The mobile industry association Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) plans to roll out an audience measurement system for mobile media in the second half of this year.
The GSMA has approved the launch of a system dubbed by some in the industry as "an abce for mobile," following a year-long study into the viability of such a system with the UK's five mobile phone networks - O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and 3.
The study has created a measurement process for mobile browsing that respects the privacy of mobile users and provides planning information for media and advertising agencies.
Rob Conway, chief executive and board member of the GSMA, said, "Access to transparent measurement is essential in establishing mobile as a legitimate advertising medium. This programme will help take the guesswork out of mobile for brands, publishers and agencies."
"For the first time, the advertising community has access to real, aggregated mobile audience data, which offers insight into the most popular sites, ranked by number of visitors, page impressions, time and duration of visits."
The GSMA study reveals that mobile sites owned and operated by mobile phone networks continue to command the largest audiences, with 68 per cent of UK mobile users visiting operator portals.
The audience measurement system will allow brands, publishers and agencies access to aggregated user behaviour data, enabling comparison with other media. For example, the GSMA study found that mobile users accessing Facebook spend an average of 24 minutes per day on the site, similar to the 27.5 minutes spent by PC users. Mobile users on Facebook averaged 3.3 visits per day, versus 2.3 visits per day by PC users.
"ABCe is looking forward to working with the mobile industry to progress and ultimately deliver mobile measurement to the standards agreed by JICWEBS (The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards in the UK and Ireland)," said Richard Foan, managing director of ABC Electronic.
"Media planners, owners and buyers require trusted and transparent data to justify driving media budgets to mobile," he added.