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Arbitron Acquires Mobile Audience Measurement Firm

Zokem Expands Arbitron technology portfolio and global footprint

Arbitron has acquired Zokem Oy, a mobile audience measurement firm based in Finland.

Arbitron said it is paying about $11.7 million in cash when the deal closes, with the possibility of up to an additional $12 million in cash payments through 2014, based on future financial performance.

Arbitron President/CEO Bill Kerr said advertisers, content providers and mobile operators want to understand how consumers use mobile devices. The Zokem acquisition “enhances the mobile audience measurement capabilities we gained through our previous purchase of the IMMI technology assets and through the continuing development of our Portable People Meter technology. Zokem also provides Arbitron with new resources for our growing cross-platform initiatives.”

Zokem customers can track and interpret consumer use of mobile devices and media. Its proprietary and passive mobile application provides information on network performance and effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns.

With the purchase, Arbitron creates a mobile division, which will be led by Zokem founder and CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo. Arbitron Mobile will report to Arbitron EVP U.S. Media Services Sean Creamer. “With radio actively engaged in the use of mobile applications as an extension of their brand, Arbitron Mobile is now better equipped to capture this audience while they are ‘on the move,’” according to Kerr.

Verkasalo said Arbitron’s expertise in survey methodology, its currency panels for media measurement and its established sales channels will complement Zokem’s mobile technology, mobile expertise and international footprint.

Zokem says its technology can measure consumer behavior online and offline, and has recently entered the tablet space. The firm says it can track application usage and changes in consumption during or after campaigns and enable technical measurements — such as network coverage and signal strength.

Some interesting data Zokem has extracted that Arbitron passed along:

— In terms of face time, social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare) at 29% and games (e.g. Angry Birds, Solitaire) at 22% are the single two biggest categories of apps, together capturing more than half of all apps usage.

— Users spend approximately 180 minutes per month using the Facebook app

— BlackBerry Messenger users spend approximately 33 minutes per month using the app

— Total app usage is on average 66 minutes per user per month of usage

— Messaging averages 671 minutes per user per month, while voice usage is 531 minutes per user per month and web browsing is 422 minutes per user per month