Nielsen Agrees to Acquire Wireless Measurement Firm Telephia

Measurement giant The Nielsen Company has signed an agreement to acquire Telephia, Inc., a provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets, to bolster its wireless measurement technology and expertise.

As the use of mobile devices for communication and content purposes continues to grow, Nielsen agreed to acquire Telephia in order to more accurately track mobile and wireless trends, according to Jesse Goranson, senior vice president of account management for Telephia.

Nielsen earlier this month announced the launch of a wireless measurement service, Nielsen Wireless. The service will use data from the firm’s existing National People Meter TV panel to help mobile media firms position their offerings and identify how customers of different mobile operators consume media in the home.

“To the extent that there are a lot of amazing new data services on the cell phone, that’s an area where we’ve been doing a lot of research and have expertise and will be complementary to the work that Nielsen is doing,” said Goranson. “It’s not clear what consumers are going to be doing over the next ten years with their cell phone and the Internet. We’ve been doing a lot of research in this area.”

Goranson also predicted advertisers and marketers will benefit from an increased level of metrics and measurement that the combined companies can provide regarding wireless campaigns.

“There are quite a few brands making commitments and experimenting with advertising on mobile phones. [But] for advertising to take off in the mobile arena, there needs to be measurement. There needs to be a definition of what is successful in this sector,” he said. “The promise of Nielsen and Telephia is we will be able to give folks an understanding of what is working and what is not. We want the folks to be able to do the same things on the mobile phone that they are doing on the Web and television and have metrics.”

As both companies are privately held, financial terms of the acquisition were not made available. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close later this year. Telephia will remain at its San Francisco headquarters with its current management team. The companies have not determined if Telephia will be rebranded following the acquisition.

Telephia’s clients include mobile carriers, handset manufacturers and retailers, wireless infrastructure providers, financial analysts and media companies. It claims around 100 customers.

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