M:Metrics to Measure Mobile Content Consumption

Measurement firm M:Metrics has announced plans to offer reports on mobile content consumption in the second half of the year, hoping to bring a panel-based approach to the nascent media platform. But even before its launch, the system is under fire.

The company’s plan is to outfit the mobile phones of more than 1,000 users with its metering technology software. M:Metrics will measure the behaviors and mobile content consumed by panelists throughout the U.S. and U.K.

M:Metrics has collected data for the past nine months to test the service, and it plans a formal launch later this year. The offering, called M:Meter, complements the company’s existing survey-based measurement practice.

“We believe in terms of activation marketing… the metering approach will be carrying the measurement,” said Mark Donovan, VP and senior analyst at M:Metrics during a panel at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement Symposium earlier this week. Explaining the need for such a system, he said, “There will be broadcast video to handsets, and you don’t have server logs to tell you who is watching.”

But the new system already faces a hurdle. Days before the M:Metrics announcement, competing research firm Telephia filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. The suit, which cites two patents, claims patent infringement “in connection with the development and distribution of smartphone metering software,” said a company statement.

M:Metrics claimed the suit is “without merit,” and further called Telephia’s claims “outrageous and spurious.”

M:Metrics CEO Will Hodgman said, “We will continue to stay focused on what we do best: providing the marketplace with the most accurate, reliable measures of mobile content consumption while providing outstanding service to our growing list of industry-leading clients.”

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