The Nielsen Company, which measures audiences of all kinds of media, said today that it will start measuring mobile phone users through a new service called Nielsen Wireless.
The service will measure how many people use content services such as mobile Internet and mobile video and what impact this has on established media behavior.
This sounds an awful lot like Seattle-based M:Metrics, which measures a ton of information on the mobile phone through surveys and by installing monitoring software on a user's mobile phone.
Nielsen said it has already been monitoring some aspects of the wireless industry, including ringtone sales and mobile polling.
Nielsen Wireless plans to launch its first product -- Mobile Vector -- in the U.S. in next month.
It will help wireless carriers develop more efficient advertising campaigns to reach their most valuable subscribers, while helping mobile content producers decide which mobile content distributor will be most effective in extending their brand. It will also help the mobile media industry establish competitive positioning and differentiation, and identify how the subscribers of different wireless carriers consume media in the home.
Nielsen's entrance into the space provides some validation of the mobile industry.
Several people, including InfoSpace's Brendan Benzing, who helps run the Bellevue company's mobile initiatives, say it's hard to get big companies interested in advertising in the mobile space when so much is unknown. Without proper measurement tools, the mobile advertising business will take awhile to get off the ground.