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Arbitron Buys Mobile Specialist Zokem

July 29 2011

US-based ratings giant Arbitron has acquired Finnish mobile measurement firm Zokem for an initial c.$11.7m in cash, plus up to $12m in future payments depending on performance.

Hannu VerkasaloFollowing the acquisition, Zokem will operate as 'Arbitron Mobile', and be led by its founder and CEO Hannu Verkasalo (pictured), who will report to Sean Creamer, Arbitron's EVP, US Media Services.

Founded in 2008, Zokem collects analytical data directly from users' smartphones, to provide media measurement companies with a comprehensive picture of usage. The company also offers custom and syndicated mobile research panels in 14 global markets, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools, and software for mobile device tracking.

Last year, Zokem raised EUR 2m ($2.4m) in equity funding, which it has been using for 'aggressive global expansion'. Less than a month ago, it partnered with Ipsos MediaCT to launch the M3 app, which combines smartphone and tablet usage data with event-based survey polls.

Arbitron President and CEO Bill Kerr says the acquisition enhances his firm's mobile audience measurement capabilities, gained through its previous purchase of IMMI technology, and through the continuing development of its Portable People Meter (PPM) technology. He says the deal will also provide Arbitron with new resources for growing its cross-platform initiatives.

Verkasalo comments: 'Arbitron's expertise in survey methodology, its currency panels for media measurement and its established sales channels are a tremendous complement to Zokem's mobile technology, mobile expertise and international footprint. Arbitron Mobile is now better positioned to enhance and expand these insights. For Zokem's management, employees, customers and investors, this acquisition is a welcome step forward.'

Web sites: www.arbitron.com and www.zokem.com .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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