MWC 09: GSMA to sell mobile user data

The GSM Association plans to spur mobile advertising by releasing user data.

Advertisers are to gain access to personal information of mobile phone users, under new plans from the GSMA, the industry body that represents the interests of mobile phone companies, SIMs providers, and telecoms firms.

And there is plenty of information at their disposal. During a recent feasibility study with Telefonica, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile International, the GSMA built up a profile of mobile users browsing habits across 67,648 mobile internet sites. As part of its mobile media metrix programme, the group will focus on the sites, and types of sites most visited, and will release this information to paying parties.

To support this, the group has just published a list of the top mobile web destinations, adding that it expected that the information could be used by advertisers to efficiently target potential customers, in much the same way that they use internet metrics.

"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," said Rob Conway, chief executive and board member of the GSMA.

"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," he added. "This will enable better planning of marketing campaigns, and in turn, will accelerate sales of mobile advertising inventory."

The GSMA study revealed statistics that should appeal to advertisers. For example, mobile users of the popular Facebook site spend an average of 24 minutes per day poking their friends, which is about the same amount of time as PC users. However, mobile users visit the site more often than their desk-bound counterparts.

The GSMA will launch its 'media packs for mobile' service in the second half of this year.

Click here for more news from Mobile World Congress 2009.

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