Press Release

Ghosts and Goblins Drive Traffic to Greetings, Gift and Toys Sites in October

comScore Media Metrix Releases October Top 50 U.S. Web Rankings and Analysis

U.S. Traffic to Online Gambling Sites Plummets Following Anti-Gambling Legislation

 

RESTON, VA, November 13, 2006 – comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties and categories for October. Americans were drawn in particular to e-card, party, kids, toy, family and women’s Web sites as Halloween approached. Also of note this month was the precipitous drop in traffic to online gambling sites (down 27 percent) following anti-gambling legislation announced in early October. In preparation for the November elections, Americans flocked to political Web sites, with traffic increasing 10 percent to 8.6 million visitors. The advent of basketball season brought on a flood of traffic to the NBA Internet Network (up 46 percent to 3.8 million visitors). Wikipedia Sites and YouTube also showed significant growth in October, up 11 percent to 38.9 million visitors and 13 percent to 23.5 million visitors, respectively.

“In addition to the normal Halloween seasonality that we’ve become accustomed to in October, politics impacted Web traffic this October as the fight for control of Congress was clearly top-of-mind with many Americans,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “Along these lines, the legislation passed by Congress to restrict online gambling made a marked dent in traffic to these sites – after seeing double-digit gains for these sites in September.”

Americans Prepare for Battle of Red vs. Blue

As Americans prepared to cast their votes in November, the most popular political sites included Capitol Advantage with 731,000 visitors (down 1 percent versus the prior month), Townhall.com with 626,000 visitors (up 63 percent) and Worldnetdaily with 536,000 visitors (up 7 percent). The category’s top gainers included Discoverthenetwork.org, the self-proclaimed “Guide to the Political Left,” which was up 104 percent to 134,000 visitors, and NationalJournal.com, a daily news site focused on politics and government, which was up 63 percent to 164,000 visitors.

October Sees Spooky Seasonality

Halloween seasonality was a significant driver of traffic this month, inspiring huge growth in visitation to online greetings and purveyors of costumes. In fact, the E-cards category rose 21 percent during October, with each of the top 10 e-card sites experiencing growth. American Greetings Property led the category with 12.6 million visitors (a 66-percent increase), followed by Evite with 6.6 million visitors (an 11-percent increase) and Hallmark.com with 6.1 million visitors (a 19-percent increase).

Notable retailers that enjoyed a Halloween traffic bump included Celebrate Express, Inc. with 2.6 million visitors (a 13-percent increase); Partycity.com with 2.5 million visitors (a 180-percent increase); and RedEnvelope.com with 2.2 million visitors (a 143-percent increase). Traffic to BuyCostumes.com was the impetus behind the 54-percent leap in traffic to parent company Liberty Media Holdings, which was the 4th biggest overall gainer in October, with 12.5 million visitors. Several sites geared towards kids and families also saw increases in October, including Disney Online with 25.1 million visitors (an 8-percent increase); Nickelodeon Network with 12.6 million visitors (a 9-percent increase); and the Family Network, which was the top-gaining property overall with 6.1 million visitors (a 121-percent increase).

Additionally, the Toys category rose 13 percent overall, led by Mattel Sites, with 9.8 million visitors (a 22-percent increase), and Toys “R” Us Sites with 8 million visitors (a 29-percent increase). Women’s sites that offered Halloween crafts and holiday-related content were up 17 percent overall, led by iVillage.com: The Women’s Network, which increased 24 percent to 17.7 million visitors; Condenet Sites, which increased 9 percent to 8.1 million visitors; and Womensforum Sites, which increased 9 percent to 6.5 million visitors. BHG.com, which on its own grew 50 percent to 5.7 million visitors, was a significant driver of the 32-percent increase realized by the Meredith Corporation Web property, which reached 9 million visitors in October and was the 9th biggest gainer overall.

Top 50 Properties

During October, Yahoo! Sites retained its ranking as the number one property, reaching nearly 130 million unique visitors in the U.S. Wikipedia Sites moved up one position to the number 10 spot, attracting 11 percent more visitors than in September, while Wal-Mart moved up four positions to number 17. YouTube.com jumped three spots to number 26, gaining 13 percent to 23.5 million visitors. iVillage.com: The Women’s Network enjoyed a significant increase in visitors, drawing almost 18 million visitors and jumping eleven spots to number 34 in the ranking. Finally, Facebook.com re-entered the ranking at number 40 with 15.1 million visitors.

Top 50 Ad Focus

October saw Advertising.com again reach 84 percent of the U.S. online population to retain the top ranking. Burst Media cracked the top ten this month, reaching almost 94 million unique visitors. YouTube.com and Real.com each gained in the ranking, reaching 14 percent and 9 percent of the population, respectively. iVillage.com: The Women’s Network, Facebook.com and WhitePages Network each re-entered the ranking in October achieving the 42nd, 47th, and 50th spots, respectively.

TABLE 1

Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
October 2006 vs. September 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Property Sept-06 (000) Oct-06 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Population 173,428 173,258 0% N/A
Family Network 2,771 6,129 121 150
AmericanGreetings Property 7,617 12,617 66 61
Art.com Sites 3,507 5,440 55 167
Liberty Media Holding Corporation 8,099 12,453 54 64
Mezi Media Sites 4,955 7,375 49 124
NBA Internet Network 2,574 3,757 46 235
VistaPrint Sites 2,678 3,598 34 241
JOB.COM 3,105 4,111 32 209
Meredith Corporation 6,836 9,018 32 96
IncrediMail Ltd 3,616 4,752 31 184

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

TABLE 2

Top 10 Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
October 2006 vs. September 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Sept-06 (000) Oct-06 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 173,428 173,258 0%
Flowers/Gifts/Greetings 29,375 36,550 24
e-cards 31,766 38,348 21
Women 45,548 53,417 17
Gay/Lesbian 1,911 2,220 16
Toys 22,210 25,088 13
Family 52,039 57,760 11
Humor 25,437 28,092 10
Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories 13,632 15,035 10
Politics 7,849 8,629 10
Kids 51,746 56,785 10

TABLE 3

Top 50 Properties
October 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 173,258        
1 Yahoo! Sites 129,603   26 YOUTUBE.COM 23,480
2 Time Warner Network 120,291   27 CareerBuilder LLC 22,642
3 Microsoft Sites 118,028   28 Expedia Inc 22,510
4 Google Sites 109,721   29 Shopzilla.com Sites 22,087
5 eBay 80,820   30 Bank of America 21,849
6 Fox Interactive Media 71,346   31 ESPN 20,349
7 Ask Network 55,548   32 Gannett Sites 20,133
8 Amazon Sites 51,299   33 Real.com Network 20,013
9 New York Times Digital 43,049   34 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 17,686
10 Wikipedia Sites 38,897   35 Comcast Corporation 17,172
11 Viacom Digital 36,602   36 Vendare NetBlue 17,023
12 Weather Channel, The 34,065   37 E.W. Scripps 15,504
13 Verizon Communications Corp. 34,038   38 NFL Internet Group 15,281
14 Apple Computer, Inc. 32,309   39 Weatherbug Property 15,156
15 CNET Networks 28,980   40 FACEBOOK.COM 15,108
16 United Online, Inc 27,385   41 Photobucket.com LLC 15,065
17 Wal-Mart 27,125   42 WebMD Health 15,049
18 Lycos, Inc. 26,540   43 Cox Enterprises Inc. 15,013
19 Adobe Sites 25,349   44 ARTISTdirect Network 14,865
20 Gorilla Nation Media 25,223   45 WhitePages 14,863
21 Disney Online 25,140   46 Ticketmaster 14,333
22 Monster Worldwide 24,527   47 CRAIGSLIST.ORG 14,327
23 Target Corporation 24,257   48 JPMorgan Chase Property 14,040
24 AT&T, Inc. 24,206   49 NBC Universal 14,037
25 CBS Corporation 24,002   50 OVERSTOCK.COM 13,866

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking October 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 173,258 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 145,032 84%   26 CPX Interactive** 41,459 24%
2 ValueClick** 132,592 77%   27 Vibrant Media** 40,986 24%
3 Yahoo! 128,264 74%   28 Undertone Networks** 37,827 22%
4 Tribal Fusion** 117,957 68%   29 ABOUT.COM 37,476 22%
5 AOL Media Network 111,384 64%   30 ContextWeb** 33,912 20%
6 Casale Media Network** 108,866 63%   31 Business.com Network 27,477 16%
7 Google 105,866 61%   32 Lycos Network 26,349 15%
8 Vendare NetBlue - TrafficMarketplace** 101,185 58%   33 Disney Online 25,140 15%
9 MSN-Windows Live 100,081 58%   34 YOUTUBE.COM 23,480 14%
10 Burst Media** 93,816 54%   35 CareerBuilder Network 23,332 13%
11 24/7 Real Media** 90,391 52%   36 WEATHER.COM 22,846 13%
12 AOL 89,598 52%   37 CNN 22,411 13%
13 YAHOO.COM Home Page 87,663 51%   38 ESPN 20,349 12%
14 Blue Lithium** 86,416 50%   39 IMDB.COM 19,748 11%
15 EBAY.COM 73,163 42%   40 GameDaily Custom Network 19,344 11%
16 PrecisionClick** 67,529 39%   41 The WebMD Health Network 17,919 10%
17 Tremor Network 66,330 38%   42 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 17,686 10%
18 AdBrite** 62,691 36%   43 Vendare NetBlue 17,023 10%
19 Gorilla Nation Media Network 60,396 35%   44 SuperPages 16,458 9%
20 DRIVEpm** 60,349 35%   45 REAL.COM* 15,755 9%
21 MYSPACE.COM 56,053 32%   46 EXPEDIA.COM* 15,235 9%
22 Ask Network 55,548 32%   47 FACEBOOK.COM 15,108 9%
23 AdDynamix.com** 54,409 31%   48 WeatherBug 15,009 9%
24 MSN.COM Home Page 54,278 31%   49 ARTISTdirect Network 14,865 9%
25 EBAY.COM Home Page 43,260 25%   50 WhitePages Network 14,740 9%

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in October. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 74 percent of the more than 173 million Internet users in October.
* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.
** Denotes 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 is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore 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.

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