Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wireless Web Analytics

From Business How MMetrics is making mobile count .

Great issue this month guys.

The Seattle startup, MMetrics aims to do for mobile content what Nielsen Media Research did for television. Using a combination of 12,000 monthly online interviews and monitoring software that users opt to have installed on their phones, MMetrics will give content providers, wireless carriers, and advertisers reams of data about consumers of mobile media, a market expected to top $1 billion by year's end.

I don't know how well the idea of users opting-in this service will be. There's a better way of doing this. Follow the early adopters. If you want to see trends, and where traffic will go, follow the people that adopt a new service/device early.

The 20-person startup could face stiff competition if Nielsen moves ahead with plans to form its own mobile division.

It doesn't have to be Nielsen, think Google, 4INFO for just a couple right now.

Think about all those SMS info requests and the database Google is compiling with it. SMS info requests are early adopters. Directions, phone numbers, sports scores, weather. In my opinion, this data keeps Google ahead of Microsoft because they offer applications that people WANT and USE.

I can see Google creating another revenue stream for advertisers from this info.

The kicker of them all though. Physical world hyperlinks. I explained a couple days ago how Google Makes A "Googol" .

Think of the data that gets created when a user keys in "Starbucks" on the mobile phone in the 11034 zip-code. Or when a user clicks on a barcode of an Elton John CD to download songs or see upcoming tour info.

The data that gets created from all of this physical world hyperlinking will be invaluable. If there's a company that has the data on this server, THEY WILL BE BIGGER THAN NIELSEN.

Think of what advertisers could do with this data. That is another billion dollar industry in itself.


Anonymous said...

I think it was the late senator Dirkson who said, " a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there soon adds up to real money".

How many avenues of revenue is this going to spawn??

Anonymous said...


I do beleive that Google will become one of the most richly valued companies in the world if they carefully mine the data they collect from their mobile searches. With this information, Google will have their fingers in everything connected to the Internet - every industry.

I can't imagine any brand name that wouldn't want to know the demographics of their customers - that wouldn't want to build a longterm, ongoing dialogue.

I believe Google is, as you say, positioning themselves for a Internet out side of the box, a world where a PC and the OS isn't necessary to gather and search for information.

Your commentary, as always, is thought provoking.


Scott Shaffer said...

You guys get "it".

When the masses get "it", the valuations of certain companies will have changed drastically.

Dean Collins said...

The problem with 'panel groups' as identified by the IAB is they are skewed and lets face it basically just a flawed methodology.

As page tagging/java script doesn't work with mobiles all that really leaves is log file analysis, which is cpu intensive and often non time sensitive (eg delayed 24+ hours). begins the soft-sell.

If you have a mobile specific web content and it is commercial in nature (eg making revenue) then you might want to check out and australian company who have just opened their first international office in the USA

Amethon uses a proprietary wireline capture technology within the mobile content data center to track all of the http requests from mobile browsers "off the wire", this enables all standard analytic functionality but just this si the world first able to deliver it for all mobile browsers ends the soft-sell.

I know that the mobile web is still a niche, but i dont think it's a question of "if" anymore but "when"

Dean Collins

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting how much things have moved on since the original post - especially now with mmetric being acquired by ComScore. Even since the last post things have progressed in the mobile analytics space.

No longer do you need expensive hardware to sniff out mobile packets since there are both image tag and link redirection techniques available that work well with mobile handsets. For example, Bango Analytics ( uses both methods with their unique user ID technology to deal with the lack of cookies on mobile. This user ID is gained from the carrier relationships developed for their mobile payment product and is the only sure way to get accurate data.

At the moment Google are nowhere to be seen and in fact adding their analytics code actually does more harm than good by causing failures on many mass-market handsets.

Data provided by companies like mmetrics has it's place. General trend information is of use as long as you understand what it is and treat it accordingly. Using data from the mobile leaders is a great way to augment this list some reports on market size. Also shows some interesting traffic details.

Be good to see where we are in another few years.