Mobile Media Metrics – 4/10 must try harder

The main differentiator between the web and the mobile web has been the lack of authoritative statistics. Everything we’ve had to rely on has been either a stat derived from a decidedly iffy survey, or reliant on a site’s openness to reveal their mobile traffic – and to be honest there’s been precious little of that, I can think of one or two examples and that’s it. Effectively, apart from stats for our own site we’ve been in the dark on the mobile web, and that’s not good for the business. If we don’t know what the market is actually doing, and we don’t know where we are in the pecking order, then why would an advertiser want to advertise with us? When we say we’re the premier mobile news site and we do 1,000,000 page impressions a second* who’s going to believe us unless there’s a benchmark.

So it’s really refreshing that at last someone has finally got their finger out and made a big brave decision – well it’s not exactly brave you’d have to be terminally stupid to not want to do this, but hell it’s a decision, and for my money it’s the right decision. We now have a situation where we know exactly who is visiting who, and for how long, and we know exactly where we are in the pecking order.

The aim of the Mobile Media Metrics statistics (see story) is to present an unimpeachable set of results based on the collated log files from all of the main mobile telecomms networks in the UK. Every month O2, Vodafone, Orange, Three, and T-Mobile will present their log files to the GSMA and comScore, who will then collate the figures and produce the GSMA Mobile Media Metrics (MMM) product. At the moment it’s just an indication of what we will see later in the year.

As the operators ramp up to full delivery of anonymised data to comScore, the MMM database has been populated with a subset of December data – “pre-production data” – from three operators.  Pre-production data for January from four operators will be delivered later in February 2010, and they anticipate delivery of full production data from all five operators early in Q2 2010.

So we can all rejoice, or can we? They details are still unclear as to what we will see every month. The first set of stats give us the top ten in three different categories. Which while useful it’s not really what I would have liked to see. There needs to be a lot more information in the public domain, and I think there’s quite a good model out there with the way Hitwise and AdMob regularly distribute information on a monthly basis on new mobile trends and on handset data.I propose that until we finally get a  vibrant mobile advertising market the MMM data should be opened up to everyone.

There also really needs to be a full audited system where sites can reveal traffic figures that advertisers can rely on, come on ABCe it’s up to you.  There are a lot of big sites out there who are hiding their mobile traffic in the general traffic and it’s not helping the industry.

We need openness and we need it now.

* That’s a big fat lie by the way.