Comscore Media Metrix Announces Top 50 U.S. Internet Property Rankings for May 2004
RESTON, Va., June 18, 2004 – If online activity in May is any indication, Americans are clearly ready for summer. Half of the top ten gaining categories in May were travel related, while the Movies and Weather categories also saw double-digit increases between April and May. These were among the findings of this month’s Internet traffic analysis, released today by Comscore Media Metrix.
Highlights of online behavior in May 2004 include:
“Many of the largest traffic shifts in May were the result of the approach of summer,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “Travel sites were among the greatest beneficiaries, with major seasonal increases at travel agency, car rental and cruise sites.”
Travel Categories Claim Five of the Ten Spots in the Top Gaining Categories RankingIn May, the Ground/Cruise category jumped 14 percent, the largest increase of the five Travel subcategories that made this month’s list (see Table 1). The gain was primarily the result of an 85-percent increase in visitors to RoyalCaribbean.com and a 31-percent increase in traffic to HollandAmerica.com.
As consumers geared up for Memorial Day and summer travel, Enterprise, Budget, Dollar and Hertz all saw double-digit increases in visitation between April and May. As a result, the Car Rental category posted a 10-percent increase in visitors, placing it at number 5 in the top 10 gaining categories. Interest in spring and summer travel also helped land Hotels.com and Orbitz.com in the top ten gaining properties, with increase of 34 and 25 percent, respectively. Increases at these two properties, combined with gains at Trip Network, AOL Travel and Priceline.com, pushed the Online Travel Agents category up 10 percent and Travel-Transactions category up 5 percent.
Mother’s Day Boosts Jewelry, Fragrance and Flowers SitesMother’s Day helped drive a 54-percent increase in visitors to 1-800-Flowers from April to May, making the site the top gaining property this month (see Table 2). Gift shopping was also a key factor in increases at two of the top ten gaining categories in May: Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories and Fragrances/Cosmetics.
Ashford.com led the Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories with an increase in visitation of 142 percent, while BlueNile and Fossil also saw impressive month-over-month gains (93 and 44 percent, respectively). Consumers searching for another staple Mother’s Day gift, perfume, helped push the Fragrances/Cosmetics category up 9 percent in May. Growth leaders included Sephora.com (up 40 percent), FragranceNet.com (up 26 percent) and Avon (up 10 percent).
Weather Sites Heat up as Summer ApproachesTraffic to the Weather category increased by 10 percent as Americans anxiously tracked the approach of warmer temperatures. WeatherBug saw the largest gain, 36 percent, supported in part by a partnership with AOL Instant Messenger. Additionally, Accuweather.com took the number 7 spot in the top gaining properties ranking with a 27-percent increase in traffic from April to May.
Online Promotions Drive Traffic Spikes at a Broad Range of SitesComscore Media Metrix research continues to show the success of online promotions in impacting consumer behavior. Highlights of this month’s promotional activity include:
Top 50 PropertiesThrough a May promotion for a free trial at Ancestry.com, MyFamily Network climbed 18 spots and entered the Top 50 at number 37 (see Table 3). Target Corporation also entered the Top 50, moving 3 spots to number 48. Of the properties in both the April and May Top 50 rankings, Weatherbug.com Property and Orbitz.com posted the largest moves. With a gain of more than 4.7 million visitors, Weatherbug.com Property jumped 20 spots to number 18, largely as a result of a bundling partnership with AOL Instant Messenger. Summer and Memorial Day travel helped boost Orbitz.com 13 spots to number 21.
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 is designed to mirror the manner in which advertising is actually packaged and sold. With this ranking, media planners and buyers can readily evaluate interactive marketing options on an equal footing.
Advertising.com used a 5-percent increase in unique visitors to move from the second spot in April’s Ad Focus ranking to the top spot in May’s ranking (see Table 4). The composition and rank order of the rest of the top 10 remained static from May to April. With the addition of Moviefone and AOL Games to its hierarchy, AOL Entertainment gained over 6 million unique visitors from April to May to jump 24 spots and move into the top 50 at number 31. Additionally, Yahoo! Get Local saw almost 1 million more visitors in May than in April, helping it climb 8 spots in the Ad Focus ranking to number 43.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in May
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, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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