Press Release

Spring Fever Drives Web Traffic as Americans Explore Travel, Educational Testing and Classifieds Sites

comScore Media Metrix Releases March Top 50 Web Rankings and Analysis

RESTON, VA, April 17, 2006 – comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer activity at top online properties and categories. Consistent with previous years, the majority of March’s Web activity was seasonal, revealing spikes in the travel, genealogy, training/ education, religious, sports/ outdoor retail, classifieds, and auto categories.

“Spring was in the air and it showed online during the month of March,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of comScore Media Metrix. “Spikes in these categories are a clear indication that consumers are preparing to enjoy warmer weather and beginning to plan for holiday, spring and summer vacations. Additionally, this month shows undeniable growth within the online classifieds category, which grew an impressive 35 percent from last year, and 13 percent versus last month. Notably, properties such as Craigslist.org have exploded since last year (up 155 percent since March 2005), an indication that online classifieds continue to draw attention from their print counterparts.”

Consumers Log On For Destination Deals and Information

With three of the top ten gaining categories this month falling under the travel umbrella, it is clear that March continued to be a time for making last minute travel, holiday, spring break, and/or summer plans. Car rental properties saw the greatest growth this month – up 22 percent over last month with more than 6.8 million visitors. Not far behind, the Ground Transportation/Cruise Category grew 17 percent over February with 9.8 million visitors, while visitation to Hotel and Resort sites increased 13 percent during the same period, with 32.9 million visitors. Of those, Hotels.com led the category in traffic (up 9 percent to 5.6 million visitors), followed by Marriott (up 11 percent to 4.7 million visitors).

Matriculation March: Students Prep for College Entrance Exams

With the SAT looming in early April, the popularity of online training and education sites soared during March. Overall, the Training and Education category rose 22 percent over February. Visits to the College Board Property, the official SAT Web property, rose 14 percent to 2.8 million visitors, while PrincetonReview.com saw traffic increase 39 percent to 693,000 visitors. Additionally, Fastweb.com, a site offering college scholarships, maintained a strong position in the category with 1.7 million visitors and growth of 35 percent versus the previous month.

Growth in Online Classifieds Shows No Signs of Slowing

March was a strong month for online classifieds, as the entire category grew 13 percent over February. More significant, however, was the year-over-year category gain of 35 percent versus March 2005, confirming the allure of online classifieds for advertisers. Notably, CraigsList.org continued to be the category leader with 9.5 million visitors, up 12 percent since last month, and up an impressive 155 percent since March 2005. Additionally, Trader Publishing Company, publisher of Auto Trader Magazines, rose 10 percent over February to 8.3 million visitors, followed by Cars.com (up 28 percent to 4.2 million visitors) and Autotrader.com (up 9 percent to 5.2 million visitors).

Movie Consumers Continue to Move Online

The Retail – Movies category also achieved gains in March, increasing 12 percent from the previous month to 25 million visitors. The gains were driven largely by Blockbuster’s 49 percent growth (to 6.9 million visitors), second only to Netflix in the category (9.6 million visitors). By launching an online rental service similar to Netflix, Blockbuster has become more competitive in this online arena. Up-and-comer Peerflix, a network that enables peer-to-peer DVD trading, continued to build momentum as it crossed the one million visitor threshold for the month, marking a 69 percent jump over February.

Top 50 Properties

In March, Yahoo! Sites continued to hold the top ranking with 123.8 million visitors, while the Time Warner Network claimed the number two position for the first time since October by attracting 116.6 million visitors. Wikipedia Sites continued its ascent in March, moving up 10 spots to number 18. CBS Corporation jumped nine spots, drawing more than 25 million visitors. Finally, Orbitz.com, NBC Universal, and USPS.com all entered the Top 50 at numbers 48, 49, and 50, respectively.

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking

March’s Ad Focus Ranking saw the Advertising.com ad network retain its number one position for the 23rd consecutive month. AOL re-entered the Top 10 by reaching 50 percent of all Americans online, while AdDynamix.com jumped 16 spots to number 20. DrivePM had a strong debut in the Ad Focus Ranking, entering at number 14, reaching more than 48 million Americans online.

TABLE 1

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
March 2006 vs. February 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Property Feb-06 (000) Mar-06 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Population 166,966 171,421 3% N/A
AreaGuides Network 1,964 4,737 141% 182
SOURCETOOL.COM 2,127 3,370 58% 250
MLB.COM 5,017 7,932 58% 103
Pepsi Co. 3,121 4,793 54% 176
NASA.GOV 2,322 3,563 53% 236
Blockbuster Inc. 4,611 6,889 49% 131
SHUTTERFLY.COM 2,804 3,952 41% 210
Forbes 5,997 8,420 40% 96
Daimler Chrysler 3,412 4,788 40% 178
Shop.com Sites 5,505 7,720 40% 107

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in March 2006. 

TABLE 2

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
March 2006 vs. February 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Feb-06 (000) Mar-06 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet Population 166,966 171,421 3%
Car Rental 5,556 6,799 22%
Genealogy 8,247 10,030 22%
Training and Education 7,928 9,640 22%
Ground/Cruise 8,326 9,775 17%
Religion 14,098 16,350 16%
Sports/Outdoor 19,056 21,731 14%
Classifieds 26,878 30,432 13%
Hotels/Resorts 29,024 32,861 13%
Resources (Automotive) 37,536 42,036 12%
Retail - Movies 22,431 25,021 12%

TABLE 3

Top 50 Properties
March 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)
  Total Internet Users 171,421        
1 Yahoo! Sites 123,801   26 Bank of America 21,429
2 Time Warner Network 116,644   27 Target Corporation 21,372
3 MSN-Microsoft Sites 116,132   28 Vendare Media 21,367
4 Google Sites 103,494   29 CareerBuilder LLC 20,730
5 eBay 70,752   30 Gannett Sites 20,518
6 Ask Network 48,838   31 Shopzilla.com Sites 19,534
7 Amazon Sites 47,105   32 Comcast Corporation 19,216
8 MYSPACE.COM 41,889   33 Real.com Network 18,920
9 New York Times Digital 36,285   34 ESPN 18,713
10 Verizon Communications Corporation 34,848   35 News Corp. Online 17,953
11 Weather Channel, The 31,886   36 Trip Network Inc. 17,113
12 CNET Networks 28,869   37 E.W. Scripps 15,780
13 Expedia Inc 27,519   38 Cox Enterprises Inc. 15,096
14 United Online, Inc 27,074   39 Earthlink 15,038
15 Viacom Online 26,864   40 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,005
16 Monster Worldwide 26,833   41 Weatherbug Property 14,964
17 Apple Computer, Inc. 26,790   42 Citysearch 14,913
18 Wikipedia Sites 25,595   43 Ticketmaster 14,621
19 Adobe Sites 25,320   44 WebMD Health 14,565
20 CBS Corporation 25,082   45 Infospace Network 14,445
21 Lycos, Inc. 24,826   46 WhitePages 13,897
22 AT&T, Inc. 23,923   47 Dell 13,890
23 Gorilla Nation Media 22,891   48 ORBITZ.COM 13,860
24 Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) 22,085   49 NBC Universal 13,758
25 Wal-Mart 21,719   50 USPS.COM 13,583

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking March 2006
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 171,421 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 138,222 81%   26 MSNBC 27,178 16%
2 Yahoo! 121,102 71%   27 Business.com Network 26,771 16%
3 ValueClick** 116,614 68%   28 Lycos Network 24,722 14%
4 AOL Media Network 110,160 64%   29 CareerBuilder Network 21,721 13%
5 Google 101,244 59%   30 Vendare Media 21,367 12%
6 MSN 97,936 57%   31 CNN 21,247 12%
7 Casale Media Network** 91,399 53%   32 Disney Online 19,188 11%
8 Tribal Fusion** 89,647 52%   33 EXPEDIA.COM* 18,811 11%
9 Vendare Media - TrafficMarketplace** 88,923 52%   34 ESPN 18,713 11%
10 AOL 85,836 50%   35 WebMD Health Network 18,202 11%
11 YAHOO.COM Home Page 77,348 45%   36 IMDB.COM 17,770 10%
12 24/7 Real Media** 76,909 45%   37 SuperPages Network 17,738 10%
13 BURST! Media** 75,850 44%   38 Mamma Media Solutions** 16,203 9%
14 DrivePM** 63,601 37%   39 Travelocity All 16,135 9%
15 EBAY.COM 62,019 36%   40 FOX Sports on MSN 15,073 9%
16 Blue Lithium** 60,803 35%   41 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,005 9%
17 Gorilla Nation Media Network 56,728 33%   42 WeatherBug 14,787 9%
18 MSN.COM Home Page 54,424 32%   43 CITYSEARCH.COM* 14,769 9%
19 Ask Network 48,838 28%   44 BIZRATE.COM 13,869 8%
20 AdDynamix.com** 48,351 28%   45 ORBITZ.COM 13,860 8%
21 MYSPACE.COM 41,889 24%   46 WhitePages Network 13,852 8%
22 EBAY.COM Home Page 36,681 21%   47 TICKETMASTER.COM 13,845 8%
23 Vibrant Media** 35,238 21%   48 REAL.COM* 13,725 8%
24 ABOUT.COM 31,733 19%   49 CNET 13,446 8%
25 WEATHER.COM 29,357 17%   50 EA Online Syndicated Games 13,314 8%

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in March. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 71 percent of the more than 171 million Internet users in March. The notation “**” indicates that the entity is an advertising network.

About comScore Media Metrix

comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report – with unmatched accuracy – details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. comScore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings – long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers – while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Contact:
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comScore, Inc.
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