Comscore Media Metrix Announces Top 50 U.S. Internet Property Rankings for April 2004

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:

  • The combination of early Mother’s Day preparations and the Easter holiday made the E-Cards the top gaining category
  • Easter also helped propel Religion into the top gaining categories, with LDS.org, TheInterviewWithGod.com and GospelCom.net all posting impressive gains
  • Articles on near-earth meteors and this summer’s arrival of cicadas translated into an 86-percent increase in unique visitors to NationalGeographic.com, making it the top gaining property
  • The addition of the Froogle comparison shopping service to the Google home page drew more than 2 million unique visitors (an increase of nearly 170 percent), ranking it within the top 5 sites in the Comparison Shopping category
  • Nearly 1.5 million Americans visited SubservientChicken.com, a Burger King promotional site

“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 Properties
The 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 Sites
Three 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 Shifts
HotJobs’ “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 Ranking
Comscore 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.

TABLE 1
 

Top 50 Properties
April 2004
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 155,130        
1 Yahoo! Sites 113,190   26 Gannett Sites 15,678
2 Time Warner Network 111,750   27 News Corp. Online 15,500
3 MSN-Microsoft Sites 110,121   28 CareerBuilder LLC 15,262
4 Google Sites 65,996   29 InfoSpace Network 14,698
5 eBay 60,106   30 AmericanGreetings Property 14,356
6 Amazon Sites 39,083   31 Wal-Mart 14,131
7 Terra Lycos 38,390   32 Tickle, Inc. 14,077
8 About/Primedia 38,263   33 Sony Online 13,993
9 Excite Network 29,047   34 ORBITZ.COM 13,768
10 Viacom Online 28,020   35 Cox Enterprises Inc. 13,688
11 Verizon Communications Corporation 24,135   36 eUniverse Network 13,569
12 CNET Networks 24,041   37 Classmates.com Sites 13,269
13 Weather Channel, The 23,907   38 Weatherbug.com Property 13,022
14 Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) 23,542   39 Trip Network Inc. 12,027
15 Real.com Network 22,713   40 Bank of America 11,800
16 Symantec 21,422   41 Vivendi-Universal Sites 11,775
17 Monster 20,107   42 Travelocity 11,739
18 Shopping.com Sites 19,643   43 United Online, Inc 11,532
19 Expedia Travel 17,696   44 Adobe Sites 11,409
20 SBC Communications 17,366   45 Comcast Corporation 11,165
21 Gorilla Nation Media 17,255   46 Earthlink 10,892
22 Ask Jeeves 17,247   47 Dell 10,839
23 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 17,082   48 IRS.GOV 10,747
24 AT&T Properties 16,929   49 Apple Computer, Inc. 10,743
25 EA Online 16,618   50 Hewlett Packard 10,657

TABLE 2

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
April 2004 vs. March 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
  Mar-04
(000)
Apr-04(000) Percent Change
Total Internet Users 154,051 155,130 1%
E-Cards 34,259 39,707 16%
Teens 23,937 27,283 14%
Classifieds 32,233 36,581 14%
Humor 28,110 31,363 12%
Retail-Flowers/Gifts/Greetings 25,964 28,749 11%
Religion 10,001 11,056 11%
Careers 42,045 45,971 9%
Retail-Movies 14,324 15,567 9%
Retail-Comparison Shopping 34,057 36,979 9%
Retail-Home Furnishings 19,869 21,083 6%

TABLE 3

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
April 2004 vs. March 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Property
Mar-04
(000)
Apr-04
(000)
Percentage
Change
Rank by
Unique Visitors
Total Internet Users 154,051 155,130 1% N/A
NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM 1,958 3,646 86% 189
Carsdirect Sites 3,161 5,008 58% 141
MLB.COM 5,477 7,927 45% 71
NFL Internet Group 5,648 7,751 37% 74
General Mills 2,007 2,754 37% 245
Hallmark 4,775 6,522 37% 100
Meredith Corporation 3,886 5,191 34% 135
Buy.com Sites 2,314 3,087 33% 220
International Data Group 3,281 4,272 30% 167
CRAIGSLIST.ORG 2,476 3,183 29% 210

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in April.

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
April 2004
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors
(000)
Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 155,130 100%          
1 Yahoo! 110,436 71%   26 Yahoo! Geocities 32,485 21%
2 Advertising.com** 105,772 68%   27 MAPQUEST.COM* 32,437 21%
3 MSN 99,829 64%   28 AIM.COM/AIM App 32,094 21%
4 AOL 86,376 56%   29 GATOR (App) 29,733 19%
5 YAHOO.COM Home Page 73,413 47%   30 Excite Network 29,047 19%
6 GOOGLE.COM* 64,433 42%   31 MSN Messenger Service 26,364 17%
7 Google Web Search 60,496 39%   32 AIMTODAY.COM* 26,126 17%
8 Yahoo! Search 60,191 39%   33 ClickAgents Network** 25,697 17%
9 Yahoo! Mail 54,880 35%   34 My Yahoo! 25,051 16%
10 MSN.COM Home Page 52,980 34%   35 AOL Instant Messenger (App) 24,974 16%
11 Tribal Fusion** 50,576 33%   36 AOL Instant Message 24,945 16%
12 MaxOnline** 50,279 32%   37 WindowsMedia 23,952 15%
13 MSN Search 48,158 31%   38 AOL Screenname 23,207 15%
14 MSN Hotmail 47,965 31%   39 WEATHER.COM 22,816 15%
15 AOL Email 47,666 31%   40 Yahoo! News 22,272 14%
16 AOL (APP) 46,418 30%   41 WINDOWSMEDIA.COM* 22,102 14%
17 MaxOnline Network** 45,543 29%   42 AOL News 21,876 14%
18 AOL Prop Email 42,295 27%   43 Yahoo! Messenger 21,865 14%
19 24/7 Real Media** 41,650 27%   44 Gator Sites 21,454 14%
20 BURST! Media** 39,455 25%   45 GATOR.COM 21,454 14%
21 AOL Search 35,450 23%   46 Real.com Media Sites 21,443 14%
22 Lycos 35,226 23%   47 ABOUT.COM 21,051 14%
23 AOL Prop Search 34,053 22%   48 BURST! Media Youths and Students** 20,921 14%
24 Claria 33,193 21%   49 CNN 20,458 13%
25 EBAY.COM Home Page 32,621 21%   50 AOL.COM Home Page 20,381 13%

**Indicates that this 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 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.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

More about

Holiday Shopping

Join Our Email List

Sign up today to have Comscore News, Insights and Events sent straight to your inbox!

Sign up Get Our Mobile App