The State of Social Media
Easter, Froogle, Cicadas and a Subservient Chicken Contribute to Major Traffic Shifts in April
RESTON, Va. May 19, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today announced the Top 50 U.S. Internet Properties for the month of April 2004. In April, the active online population across U.S. home, work and university PCs totaled 155.1 million people. A wide range of factors, including Easter, Mother’s Day and a number of creative online promotions, drove this month’s major traffic shifts.
Highlights of online behavior in April 2004 include:
“In April, Easter and early Mother’s Day were hot topics online, driving substantial activity around the Web,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “We also saw the Web show its utility as a creative promotional vehicle, with a number campaigns such as Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ and HotJobs’ ‘Career Makeover,’ drawing millions of visitors.”
Top 50 PropertiesThe composition and rank order of the top 5 properties remained the same from March to April (see Table 1). Of the properties in both the March and April Top 50 rankings, News Corp. Online and AmericanGreetings Property posted the biggest moves. With a gain of more than 3 million visitors, News Corp. Online jumped 10 spots to number 27, largely as a result of increased traffic to Fox News and American Idol sites. Easter and early Mother’s Day cards helped boost AmericanGreetings Property 8 spots to number 30.
Easter and Mother’s Day Drive Major Increases at Flower and E-Card SitesThree of the top ten gaining categories in April were driven upwards by Easter-related traffic (see Table 2). Nearly 40 million Americans visited the E-Cards category in April. This represents an increase of 16 percent, making E-Cards the top gaining category this month. Hallmark.com posted the largest increase among the major E-Cards sites, with traffic increasing by almost 40 percent between March and April.
Easter drove an 11-percent increase in visitation to the Religion category between March and April. Top gainers in the Religion category included LDS.org (82 percent growth), TheInterviewWithGod.com (34 percent) and GospelCom.net (31 percent). Lastly, the Flowers, Gifts & Greetings category grew 11 percent with nearly every major site in the category experiencing an increase in visitors in April. Proflowers.com led the way, with a 123-percent increase as a combined result of seasonal growth and a promotion offering a free vase with any order.
Froogle Boosts the Comparison Shopping Category Aside from the Flowers, Gifts & Greetings category, three other Retail categories were among the top gainers in April. The Movies category recorded a 9-percent increase in traffic primarily as a result of FoxStore.com promotions for Cheaper by the Dozen and Master and Commander DVDs.
The addition of the Froogle comparison shopping service to the Google home page translated into a 170-percent increase in visitors to Froogle, which helped propel the entire Comparison Shopping category up 9 percent to nearly 37 million visitors in April. With more than 2 million unique visitors in April, Froogle now ranks within the top 5 sites in the Comparison Shopping category.
Led by major increases at PotteryBarn.com (58 percent), CrateandBarrel.com (36 percent), Lowes.com (9 percent) and Sears.com (7 percent), the Home Furnishings category saw a 6-percent increase in unique visitors as Americans readied their homes for summer.
Other Noteworthy Traffic ShiftsHotJobs’ “Career Makeover” promotion boosted the site by 40 percent and contributed to significant gains in both the Classifieds and Careers categories. Web content related to Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time” drove a 36-percent increase in visitors to the property, which in turn helped the Humor category land a spot in the top gaining categories ranking.
Other successful online promotions included Burger King’s widely talked about SubservientChicken.com, which drew nearly 1.5 million in April, and General Mills’ “Box Tops for Education,” which contributed to a 37-percent bump in traffic to General Mills sites.
Articles focusing on near-earth meteors, Daylight Savings Time and this year’s arrival of cicadas helped draw 3.6 million unique visitors to NationalGeographic.com. This represents an increase of almost 1.7 million unique visitors or more than 86 percent, making NationalGeographic.com the top gaining Web property in April (see Table 3).
With the beginning of the Major League Baseball season and the NFL Draft, April is a busy sports month. These factors contributed to traffic increases at MLB.com and NFL Internet Group of 45 and 37 percent, respectively, helping both league sites win spots in among the top ten gaining properties.
Top 50 Ad Focus RankingComscore Media Metrix’s ranking of advertising-supported media brands includes media properties, such as Yahoo! and MSN, as well as advertising networks, such as Advertising.com and MaxOnline. Instead of focusing on corporate ownership, this reporting mirrors, as closely as possible, the manner in which advertising is actually packaged and sold. With this ranking, media planners and buyers can more easily evaluate interactive marketing options on an equal footing.
AOL utilized the combination of its proprietary and .com traffic to climb 4 spots to assume the number 4 position in April’s Ad Focus ranking, and many other AOL entities also entered the Ad Focus ranking due to the shift. In addition, Tribal Fusion jumped 3 spots and over 2.6 million visitors to claim the number 11 ranking.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in April.
**Indicates that this entity is an advertising network.
About Comscore Media MetrixComscore 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 NetworksComscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 1.5 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 patent-pending 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 Microsoft, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Best Buy, Verizon, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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