LONDON: The GSM Association, the mobile industry trade body, will launch a new audience measurement system in the second half of 2009 after a year-long assessment in an effort to encourage advertisers to increase their use of the medium despite the downturn.

In the US, Nielsen has launched a "Three Screen" data measurement system that allows advertisers to see how consumers are using TV, mobile and the internet, and how these mediums interact.

Mobile phone networks 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone assisted the GSMA in drawing up the new UK system, which also aims to help marketers compare mobile with other forms of media.

It will provide a range of aggregated data, including figures on the most popular mobile sites, the number of visitors, page impressions and duration of visits.

Initial tests of the new system found that 68% of UK mobile users visit services and sites run by mobile operators, meaning these portals currently have the largest mobile audience.

Among the other findings were that mobile users accessing the social networking portal Facebook spend 24 minutes each day on the site, visiting 3.3 times a day, compared with an average of 27.5 minutes, and 2.3 daily visits, on a PC.

Rob Conway, chief executive and board member of the GSMA, said: "Access to transparent measurement is essential in establishing mobile as a legitimate advertising medium. This programme will help take the guesswork out of mobile for brands, publishers and agencies."

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff