Arbitron Buys Mobile Analytics Firm Zokem

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Arbitron, Columbia, Maryland-based media and marketing research firm, has paid US$11.7 million to acquire Zokem Oy, a mobile audience measurement and analytics firm located in Helsinki, Finland.

Zokem will operate as Arbitron Mobile, a new division of Arbitron Inc., led by Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, Zokem founder and CEO, who will report to Sean Creamer, executive vice-president, U.S. Media Services for Arbitron.

Under the deal, Arbitron paid $11.7 million in cash at closing, and will pay up to $12 million more through 2014, based on the company’s future performance.

Zokem provides custom and syndicated mobile research panels, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools and software building blocks for mobile device tracking to the leading companies in the marketing research, wireless, Internet, media and marketing industries. Through its proprietary and passive mobile application, Zokem customers can track and interpret consumer use of mobile devices and media. The technology also provides information on network performance and effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns. Zokem currently operates panels in 14 global markets and has relationships with a number of the largest mobile industry participants around the world.

William Kerr, Arbitron CEO, “The acquisition of Zokem enhances our capabilities in the mobile audience measurement arena and provides Arbitron with valuable new resources for our growing cross-platform initiatives.”

“Arbitron’s expertise in survey methodology, its currency panels for media measurement and its established sales channels are a tremendous complement to Zokem’s mobile technology, mobile expertise and international footprint,” says Verkasalo.

“We will be in a strong position to capitalize on these assets while continuing to work with our existing partners. We are already delivering unique and valuable insights to advertisers and media buyers around the world who want a better understanding of how consumers rely on their mobile devices and services. Arbitron Mobile is now better positioned to enhance and expand these insights. For Zokem’s management, employees, customers and investors, this acquisition is a welcome step forward”.

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