NEW YORK Audience measurement firm Nielsen said
on Wednesday it will begin tracking media consumption over cell
phones under a new service called Nielsen Wireless.
The service aims to help wireless carriers, advertisers and
entertainment companies gauge what kinds of media are popular
over cell phones as a growing number of consumers look to such
devices to surf the Web or watch video clips.
Mobile entertainment and advertising is expected to be one
of the fastest-growing sources of revenue for both media and
telecommunications companies in the next few years, as improved
Internet connections and phones equipped with more
sophisticated technologies enter the U.S. market.
Nielsen Wireless will track how many people use mobile
Internet and video on their cell phones and how that affects
the time they spend with other forms of media, Nielsen said in
Nielsen Wireless will be led by Jeff Hermann, who also
oversees the company's video game measurement service. Nielsen
already provides data to the wireless industry on ring tone
sales as well as offering surveys of mobile customers.
The service's first product will be available in July in
the United States to report on media habits and audience
demographics for each wireless carrier.
Data already compiled by the company shows that more than
33 million U.S. consumers over the age of 12 used their cell
phone to surf the Internet in the first quarter, while more
than 8 million watched video on their cell phone. Total U.S.
wireless subscriptions are estimated at about 230 million.
The mobile media consumer is relatively affluent, with more
than half of subscribers with video-ready cell phones reporting
annual household income of $75,000 or more, according to
Nielsen Wireless. Nearly half of mobile video audience members
are over the age of 35, while 54 percent of the audience is
male, the company said.