Comscore Media Metrix Announces Top 50 U.S. Internet Property Rankings for July 2004
RESTON, Va., August 16, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer Internet behavior. This month’s report revealed that JibJab.com, the online video released in mid-July satirizing John Kerry and George Bush, reached substantially more visitors than both of the candidates’ sites combined. JibJab.com drew an impressive 10.4 million unique visitors in July, more than three times the 3.3 million Americans who collectively visited JohnKerry.com and GeorgeWBush.com.
Highlights of online behavior in July include:
“Steeped in humor and controversy, JibJab.com took the Web by storm, easily reaching more Americans directly than the targets of its humor,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “This is an example of just how quickly compelling content can spread in a wired world, and a hidden lesson for marketers looking to stand out among competitors with much bigger ad budgets.”
At its peak, well over a million Americans per day visited JibJab.com, making it the focus of thousands of water cooler conversation across the country—and the 56th largest property in July. All told, 10.4 million U.S. Internet users visited the site in July, more than three times the combined total for JohnKerry.com and GeorgeWBush.com (see table 1).
Despite the wide shadow cast by JibJab, and the lack of a major “convention bump” in voter polls, presidential candidate John Kerry did enjoy a significant bump online. During his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in late July, Mr. Kerry urged Americans to visit his Web site to learn more about his policy positions. Nearly 2.2 million people did just that in July, an increase of 206 percent versus 705,000 in June. Nearly 360,000 people, or 17 percent of those who visited the site in July, visited the contributions section of the site. The increase in visitation to JohnKerry.com fueled a 42-percent spike in traffic to the Politics category, ranking it as the second largest gainer in July (see table 2).
Elsewhere on the Web, a series of security patches pushed millions to Microsoft Windows sites in July. In total, well over 40 million Americans – many prompted by automatic reminders – visited Microsoft Windows sites in pursuit of updates, catapulting the Technology category up 14 percent to 98.5 million visitors in July.
The July and early-August releases of a number of highly anticipated video game titles, including Madden NFL 2005, ESPN NFL 2K5 and Doom 3, contributed to a 45-percent increase in traffic to the Gaming Information category, making it the top gaining category this month. With one exception, each of the top ten sites in the category posted an increase between June and July. The category leader, EA Online, saw visitors increase by 8 percent, while the average amount of time spent at the site jumped by 95 percent.
Video game releases were also likely contributors to significant increases at a number of the Web’s well-known toy retailers, including Toysrus Sites and KB Toys. A substantial increase in Mattel’s Everythinggirl.com site helped the property post a 17-percent increase in visitors in July. Overall, traffic to the Retail-Toys category increased by 13 percent, making it the sixth-largest gaining category in July.
Summer sales and back-to school shopping supported retailers of other products. The Department Stores category grew by 8 percent, rounding out the top ten gaining categories ranking. Target Corporation, JCPenney Sites and Kohls.com all posted double-digit increases. Home furnishings and home improvement retailers, such as Sears, Home Depot, Ikea and Pottery Barn Kids, all drew between 9 and 77 percent more traffic.
The addition of Mapquest.com to the Directories category concurrent with the site’s recent launch of yellow pages content helped push the category up 14 percent in July. MapQuest, along with other yellow pages content providers such as SuperPages Network, Yahoo! Yellow Pages and SmartPages.com, all saw traffic increases ranging from 7 percent to 16 percent between June and July.
Summer travel helped the Hotels/Resorts and Airlines categories post 17- and 10-percent increases in July, respectively. As hotel suppliers continue their tug-of-war with travel agencies for a more direct relationship with their customers, the Hotels/Resorts category grew an impressive 15 percent versus July 2003. This month, both InterContinental Hotels and Marriott made the top gaining properties ranking, with increases of 29 and 28 percent, respectively.
Top 50 PropertiesWith the end of its relationship with MSN in July, ESPN entered the Top 50 at number 37 in its first month as a standalone property (see table 3). Merger activity in the banking industry accounted for large increases at two major properties. JPMorgan Chase’s acquisition of Bank One (number 93 and 92 properties, respectively, in June) catapulted the combined property to the number 39 position in July. The merger of Fleet.com and Bank of America translated to a seven-spot increase to number 32 in July.
The buzz surrounding JibJab.com contributed to downloads of the Flash and Shockwave players. This drove a 25-percent increase in unique visitors to Macromedia, which gained 10 spots to take the number 38 position in July. The start of the back-to-school season boosted traffic to Dell, which jumped 11 spots to finish at number 43 in July. In addition, increased visitation to AT&T Wireless sites helped AT&T Properties post an 8-spot move to the number 28 ranking in July.
Compared to June, fully 8 of the top 10 online properties drew larger audiences in July, although the overall composition of the top 10 list remained static.
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.
From June to July, the composition and rank order of the top 5 Ad Focus entities remained static. MSN Homepages, a new entity detailing MSN’s domestic and international homepages, debuted in the Ad Focus ranking in the number 10 position (see table 4). Additionally, heavy e-mail promotions powered a 428-percent increase in visitation to the RealArcade portion of Real.com Media Sites, propelling it 5 spots to number 38 in July’s Ad Focus ranking.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in July
**Indicates that the 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 2 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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