According to a Business Beat article in the Nikkei Weekly print edition [.pdf], nearly as many people in Japan access the Internet through cellphones as PCs, so major advertisers and service providers have apparently come together recently in an effort to create a new way to measure the audiences visiting mobile websites. Some 40 companies including Coca-Cola and Panasonic as well as web agencies such as Nifty, DeNA and NetRatings Japan have established a study group to identify a common method to quantify mobile web usage.
At the end of last fiscal year 72 million subscribers hit the web with their handsets while 78 million surfed using fixed-line PC’s according to Ministry data. Despite the near equal usage numbers, the ad-market for mobile websites was only 62 billion JPY compared to 600 billion JPY on the full Internet. The group plans to submit their findings – calling for the introduction of an industry standard metric – to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as well as mobile operators, by August 2009.
As the budgets for 2009 fiscal year campaigns are starting to come together now, we are hearing whispers that the mobile ad-buy will increase rather significantly YoY. Consider the current 10x disconnect between usage and total spend, combined with the personal nature of a mobile device, that ‘news’ should not come as very surprising!