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comScore Gets Mobile with M:Metrics Buy

May 29 2008

comScore has announced the acquisition of mobile measurement firm M:Metrics, Inc., for a cash payment of $44.3m and the issue of c.50,000 share purchase options for comScore stock.

The acquisition was closed yesterday, Wednesday May 28 and has been approved by the comScore Board of Directors and M:Metrics stockholders. comScore says the deal makes it 'the immediate leader in measuring the emerging and strategically important mobile Internet market' and adds to its leading position in measuring PC-based Internet usage.

M:Metrics' revenues are forecast to reach c.$11-12m for the full year 2008, and to contribute $6.5 to $7m to comScore's reported revenues for 2008 post-closing. M:Metrics' co-founders, President and CEO Will Hodgman and Chief Product Architect Seamus McAteer, will join comScore's management team. M:Metrics was previously a private, venture-funded corporation.

M:Metrics offers three primary measurement products:

  • MobiLensTM, a syndicated monthly online survey of more than 40,000 mobile device users, covering overall mobile phone usage, including device information, data usage, media consumption and demographics;
  • MeterDirectTM, which uses an on-device meter to passively measure the mobile Internet behavior and media consumption of more than 4,000 existing Smartphone panelists; and
  • M:AdTM, a competitive tracker for mobile advertising.
All three products are available in the US and UK. MobiLens is also available in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, and in February reported first results for China.

comScore says it will increase the size of the metered panel and offer a combined measure of PC and mobile-based Internet usage. The firms expect 'substantial' operating synergies, cost savings and enhanced revenue growth.

comScore President and CEO Dr. Magid Abraham says he believes new 3G devices and handsets mean that 'we are now at an inflection point in Internet usage on mobile devices' and says the acquisition 'positions comScore to deliver significant shareholder value as wireless carriers, telecom equipment providers, media companies, advertising agencies, online publishers, and marketers extend their reach into the mobile Internet world.'

More specifically, he continues: 'We see compelling opportunities to increase the market penetration of M:Metrics' products within comScore's customer base of over 950 clients and to cross-sell comScore's portfolio of products into the wireless industry, including the major carriers and device manufacturers. In addition, we plan to leverage comScore's panel, technology infrastructure and sales force to expand the metered mobile panel and develop new offerings that can significantly increase the growth and profitability of M:Metrics' business.'

Will Hodgman, President and CEO of M:Metrics, says the combined company will provide customers with 'a compelling portfolio of cross media online measurement and analytics... We are excited about joining comScore and leveraging its vast capabilities, blue chip customer base, and innovative technologies. By combining forces, I am confident we will be the pre-eminent Internet and mobile marketing intelligence provider in the world.'

The buy pits comScore against Nielsen Mobile, formed after the research giant bought mobile research firm Telephia last year.

comScore is expecting the M:Metrics business to be profitable on an Adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of the fourth quarter of 2008, and to be a significant positive contributor to Adjusted EBITDA in 2009.

M:Metrics is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in San Francisco and London. Web sites: www.comscore.com and www.mmetrics.com .

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

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