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M&A Activity Lends Credence to Mobile Analytics
Denise Culver

In 2010, the amount spent on mobile marketing in the U.S. hit about $2.16 billion. Not surprisingly, major mobile players responded to the trend: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) made major mobile analytics acquisitions in 2009. Adobe acquired Omniture for $1.8 billion, while Google acquired mobile ad network AdMob Inc. for $750 million.

These moves were followed in 2010 by at least 12 other significant acquisitions in the mobile analytics space, including the purchase IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) made of Netezza Corp. (NYSE: NZ) for $1.7 billion, and the acquisition comScore Inc. made of Nedstat for $36.7 million.

It is likely that more consolidation will occur in the mobile analytics space, especially as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones and the cost of access decreases. These trends and their impact are discussed thoroughly in the newest Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider report, "Mobile Analytics: Strong Growth Potential Ahead."

Companies analyzed in this report include: Adobe Systems Inc.; Amethon Solutions Pty Ltd.; Atomic Labs Inc.; Bango Inc. (LSE: BGO); Localytics; Mobclix Inc.; Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV); Umber Systems Inc.; Waterfall Mobile Inc.; and Webtrends Inc. .

Web-based mobile data is attractive to service providers and brands that increasingly are developing mobile applications and services. Mobile analytics enables them to determine valuable information about their users, including the operating systems and devices used; the most popular features on a site; and location-based information, including the country, state and city from which sites and apps are accessed.

Such information enables mobile analytics users to better target their customers. Additionally, it enables service providers and others to better attract partners and advertisers because they have direct, verifiable information about their customers, including their habits and their needs.

What this means for service providers is simple: additional revenue. When service providers increase their integration of mobile analytics into the development of new products, services and applications, they can do so armed with specific information about their customers. Past strategies have relied on guesses about what customers might want or the development of services to keep up with the competition. But mobile analytics enables a much more targeted strategy in terms of creating value-adds and other revenue-generating services by service providers.

For mobile analytics to continue shaping the future of application and service development, vendors must continue proving out the technology, ensuring that their offerings provide accurate data in a format that is easy to integrate with other applications and back-office systems. As this happens, the mobile analytics industry will continue garnering attention, and major mobile vendors and service providers will continue acquiring solutions that provide them with the mobile analytics power they need.

Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider

The report, Mobile Analytics: Strong Growth Potential Ahead, is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Mobile Networks Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/mobile-networks.