Press Releases

October 17, 2008

comScore Media Metrix Ranks Top 50 U.S. Web Properties for September 2008

Wall Street Turmoil Drives Traffic to Financial News and Online Trading Sites

Visitation to BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com Surges as Election Nears

RESTON, VA, October 17, 2008 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at the top online properties for September 2008 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service. The tumultuous financial markets and the upcoming presidential elections were the main drivers of Internet traffic for the month. Training and education sites gained as the fall season prompted many students to prepare for the college application process and a gloomy economic outlook led some Americans to consider going back to school.

“As the financial crisis deepens, Americans have been anxiously following the latest news on the markets and carefully watching their personal financial accounts online,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “The ability to track the market on a minute-by-minute basis and access banking and trading accounts quickly enables Americans to make financial decisions in real-time. Whether these decisions are sound or not is another story.”

Financial Crisis Causes Spike in Traffic to Online Trading and Financial News Sites

September proved to be a chaotic month for financial markets as several major banks crumbled and Congress raced to pass a $700 billion bailout plan to stabilize the financial markets. Consequently, visitation to business/finance - news/research and online trading sites soared with Americans keeping a watchful eye on the latest developments, as well as their personal finances.

Business/finance – news/research web sites saw a substantial increase in visitation in September, gaining 9 percent to more than 64 million visitors, while also increasing 16 percent in pages viewed and 29 percent in total time spent. These increases suggest that not only were more people visiting the sites in the category, but that they viewed more articles and content for longer periods of time on average.

Yahoo! Finance led the category with nearly 20 million visitors, a 30-percent jump from August. Several other sites experienced particularly strong growth amid the financial frenzy, including Russian financial site RBC.RU (up 155 percent to 1.2 million visitors), FoxBusiness.com (up 127 percent to 1.2 million visitors), and Google Finance (up 67 percent to 1.4 million visitors).

Top Gaining Sites in Business/Finance – News/Research Category
(Among sites with at least 1 million visitors)
September 2008 vs. August 2008
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Aug-08 Sep-08 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 188,937 189,468 0
Business/Finance - News/Research 58,766 64,277 9
RBC.RU 466 1,190 155
FOXBUSINESS.COM 531 1,205 127
Google Finance 822 1,372 67
CNN Money 4,458 6,952 56
BLOOMBERG.COM 1,871 2,800 50
Yahoo! Finance 15,376 19,970 30
Bankrate.com Sites 2,902 3,742 29
Comcast.net Finance 1,309 1,571 20
CNBC.COM 1,270 1,524 20
Business Week Online 1,676 2,010 20

Online trading sites surged 10 percent to 12.6 million visitors in September, as investors kept watchful eyes on their dwindling portfolios and 401K’s. Fidelity Investments led the category with 3.5 million visitors, followed by ShareBuilder.com with 2 million visitors and Scottrade Sites with 1.7 million visitors. E-Trade Financial Network (up 26 percent to 1.6 million visitors), TD Ameritrade.com (up 30 percent to 1.4 million visitors) and Schwab.com (up 36 percent to 1.1 million visitors) each experienced double-digit growth.

Election Fever Drives Traffic to Politics Category

Politics reigned as the top-gaining category for the second consecutive month, experiencing a 43-percent increase to more than 20 million visitors, as interest in the Republican National Convention in early September and the first presidential debate later in the month generated heightened interest. BarackObama.com, one of the fastest-gaining properties of the month, led the category with 5.4 million visitors (up 37 percent versus August). JohnMcCain.com ranked second in the category with 3 million visitors, a 109-percent gain from August, with the Republican National Convention and interest in vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin helping drive visitors to the site.

College Application Season Prompts Growth at Training and Education Sites

The college search and admission process began in September as many high school students prepared their applications and a slumping economy left some professionals considering further education. Careers services and development – training and education sites experienced a 21-percent increase to nearly 12 million visitors during the month. College Board Property, which provides resources for college entrance exams, led the category with 2.6 million visitors (up 31 percent), followed by scholarship search provider Fastweb.com with 2.6 million visitors (up 44 percent), and EduPlace.com with 810,000 visitors (up 49 percent).

Education – information sites also gained during the month with September marking the first full month that most students were back in school across the country. The category grew 11 percent to more than 73 million visitors, led by Dictionary.com with 15 million visitors (up 39 percent), Pearson Education with 13.3 million visitors (up 34 percent), and Answers.com with nearly 11 million visitors (up 29 percent).

Top 50 Properties

Google Sites continued to lead as the most visited property in September with more than 144 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 142 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 122.3 million visitors. Wikimedia Foundation Sites, parent property of Wikipedia.org, climbed one place to capture the eighth position with 60.2 million visitors, while Glam Media moved up four spots to #10 with 52.3 million visitors. Strong interest in sports during the month of September, with Major League Baseball pennant races and the beginning of the NFL season, helped push ESPN up four spots to #32 with nearly 24 million visitors, while NFL Internet Group entered the ranking this month at #48 with nearly 18 million visitors.

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking

Platform-A led the September Ad Focus ranking reaching 91 percent of the 189.5 million Americans online. Yahoo! Network reached 86 percent of the population followed by Google Ad Network with a reach of 83 percent. Traffic Marketplace entered the top 10 this month, capturing the ninth position and reaching 131.5 million visitors. 24/7 Real Media also experienced an increase, gaining three spots to #11 and reaching nearly 129 million visitors.

comScore Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors* (U.S.)
September 2008 vs. August 2008
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Aug-08 Sep-08 % Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet : Total Audience 188,937 189,468 0  N/A
Technorati Media 3,066 11,269 268 90
ABC.COM 5,089 12,627 148 76
MANIATV.COM 2,793 4,716 69 233
Fantasy Sports Ventures 4,253 6,312 48 173
MEGAVIDEO.COM 3,430 5,067 48 217
Encyclopaedia Britannica 6,697 9,688 45 108
HotChalk 6,239 9,009 44 116
Nintendo Co. 3,728 5,216 40 209
HUFFINGTONPOST.COM 3,293 4,545 38 238
BARACKOBAMA.COM 3,913 5,350 37 204

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in September 2008

comScore Top 10 Gaining Categories by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors (U.S.)

September 2008 vs. August 2008

Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations

Source: comScore Media Metrix

  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Aug-08 Sep-08 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 188,937 189,468 0
Politics 14,040 20,081 43
Career Services and Development - Training and Education 9,576 11,588 21
Genealogy 7,929 9,067 14
Religion 20,423 22,895 12
Retail – Food 15,115 16,851 11
Education - Information 65,908 73,170 11
Retail - Computer Software 20,280 22,445 11
Online Trading 11,427 12,550 10
Business/Finance - News/Research 58,766 64,277 9
Technology - News 43,647 46,868 7
comScore Top 50 Properties (U.S.)
September 2008
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 : Total Audience 189,468        
1 Google Sites 144,293   26 Superpages.com Network 27,625
2 Yahoo! Sites 141,956   27 Verizon Communications Corporation 27,125
3 Microsoft Sites 122,338   28 United Online, Inc 25,301
4 AOL LLC 108,349   29 Gorilla Nation 25,024
5 Fox Interactive Media 87,414   30 Yellowpages.com Network 24,916
6 eBay 69,322   31 Bank of America 24,727
7 Ask Network 62,101   32 ESPN 23,869
8 Wikimedia Foundation Sites 60,200   33 WordPress 23,125
9 Amazon Sites 55,749   34 Monster Worldwide 23,104
10 Glam Media 52,292   35 Shopzilla.com Sites 22,702
11 CBS Corporation 52,050   36 CareerBuilder LLC 22,522
12 Apple Inc. 47,556   37 Weatherbug Property 22,427
13 New York Times Digital 47,146   38 Photobucket.com LLC 22,371
14 Turner Network 46,860   39 Demand Media 22,361
15 Viacom Digital 44,517   40 Answers.com Sites 22,253
16 FACEBOOK.COM 41,416   41 Gannett Sites 21,689
17 Weather Channel, The 37,916   42 Real.com Network 21,515
18 craigslist, inc. 35,258   43 Hearst Corporation 19,403
19 Adobe Sites 35,100   44 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 19,183
20 Time Warner - Excluding AOL 30,851   45 WorldNow - ABC Owned Sites 18,884
21 AT&T, Inc. 30,134   46 WhitePages 18,664
22 Wal-Mart 29,003   47 Expedia Inc 18,279
23 Comcast Corporation 28,700   48 NFL Internet Group 17,857
24 Disney Online 28,607   49 WebMD Health 17,263
25 Target Corporation 28,213   50 The Mozilla Organization 17,179
comScore Ad Focus Ranking (U.S.)
September 2008
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 : Total Audience 189,468 100%          
1 Platform-A** 171,692 91%   26 Centro - Potential Reach 83,921 44%
2 Yahoo! Network** 161,996 86%   27 AdBrite** 79,853 42%
3 Google Ad Network** 156,355 83%   28 YOUTUBE.COM 75,389 40%
4 Specific Media** 153,435 81%   29 NNN Total Newspapers: U.S. 73,880 39%
5 ValueClick Networks** 150,395 79%   30 Vibrant Media** 73,323 39%
6 Tribal Fusion** 141,850 75%   31 MYSPACE.COM* 73,035 39%
7 Yahoo! 140,200 74%   32 Gorilla Nation Media - Potential Reach 64,303 34%
8 Google 136,219 72%   33 Ask Network 62,101 33%
9 Traffic Marketplace** 131,458 69%   34 Kontera** 58,809 31%
10 YuMe Video Network - Potential Reach 130,238 69%   35 Pulse 360** 58,559 31%
11 24/7 Real Media** 128,775 68%   36 MSN.COM Home Page 57,457 30%
12 Casale Media - MediaNet** 128,585 68%   37 EBAY.COM 55,476 29%
13 Tremor Media - Potential Reach 128,060 68%   38 ITN National Broadband Networks - Potential Reach 54,905 29%
14 Adconion Media Group** 122,632 65%   39 Ybrant - Oridian - ADdynamix Network** 53,993 28%
15 interCLICK** 121,987 64%   40 IB Local Network 53,645 28%
16 Revenue Science** 120,899 64%   41 IAC Ad Solutions - Potential Reach 52,405 28%
17 DRIVEpm** 113,162 60%   42 NNN Top 25 51,222 27%
18 CPX Interactive** 111,847 59%   43 Intergi - Potential Reach 48,929 26%
19 ADSDAQ by ContextWeb** 109,570 58%   44 Business.com Network 47,174 25%
20 Collective Media** 109,489 58%   45 QuadrantONE - Potential Reach 46,403 24%
21 MSN-Windows Live 109,274 58%   46 AMAZON.COM 45,980 24%
22 AOL Media Network 108,349 57%   47 TattoMedia** 44,894 24%
23 Burst Media** 101,493 54%   48 MapQuest 44,588 24%
24 Turn, Inc** 101,462 54%   49 AdOn Network** 43,719 23%
25 Undertone Networks** 85,722 45%   50 NNN Top 10 42,032 22%

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in September. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 74 percent of the 189 million Internet users in September.

* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.

** Denotes an advertising network.

About comScore Media Metrix
comScore Media Metrix provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report 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 reports are used by financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers. comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/boilerplate

Contact:
Sarah Radwanick
Lead Corporate Marketing Manager
comScore, Inc.
+44 (0) 20 7099 1784
worldpress@comscore.com



Tags: Elections, Finance, Rankings