The State of Social Media
Comscore Media Metrix Announces Top 50 U.S. Internet Property Rankings for August 2004
RESTON, Va., Sept. 22, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer Internet behavior. This month’s report revealed that sites related to the summer Olympics took both the first and second spots in the August ranking of the top gaining properties. U.S. Olympic Team Sites and Athens2004.com each drew approximately 3 million visitors in August, while NBC Universal jumped more than 50 percent to claim the number 6 spot on the top gaining properties ranking.
Other highlights of online behavior in August include:
“While we saw the traditional slowdown in overall Internet usage in August, the Olympics and the kickoff of the academic year still sparked significant spikes across a number of sites and categories,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “With the presidential election less than two months away, a number of news publishers benefited from the Republican National Convention in late August.”
Sports Score Big in AugustThree of the top ten gaining properties in August saw major increases as a result of the Summer Games. The top two gaining properties, U.S. Olympic Team Sites and Athens2004.com, each drew approximately 3 million visitors in August, up from less than 300,000 visitors in July. NBC Universal, which includes NBCOlympics.com, jumped by more than 50 percent to approximately 12 million unique visitors in August. NBCOlympics.com alone drew 5.8 million visitors, an increase of nearly 2,000 percent versus July.
With the NFL season now in full swing, fans looking to configure fantasy leagues or read about their favorite team’s prospects helped push the Sports category up 11 percent. NFL Internet Group and Sportsline both made the cut for the top gaining properties ranking, surging 86 and 34 percent respectively. Previous Comscore research has found that more than 6.5 million Americans participated in fantasy football activity last year – a number that is sure to increase this season.
Back to School Means Back to the WebThe month’s top gaining category, Careers – Training & Education, jumped by 15 percent as current and prospective students visited test preparation sites in droves. Nearly 1.3 million Americans visited CollegeBoard.com to learn about or prepare for the SAT – an increase of almost 50 percent versus July. PrincetonReview.com jumped 114 percent to 990,000 visitors, while its competitor’s site, KapTest.com, gained 64 percent to end with 470,000 visitors in August.
The Education category, home to both academically and commercially run sites such as AOL Research & Learn and Berkeley.edu, jumped 7 percent from July to August. GreatSchools.net, a non-profit information resource, grew by nearly 60 percent to 2.1 million visitors in August. Nearly every major university site saw substantial increases as students prepared to start or return to college.
A number of retailers also benefited from back-to-school shopping. The Sports/Outdoor category, which includes such retail sites as Foot Locker, TheSportsAuthority and DicksSportingGoods.com, jumped by 8 percent between July and August. Staples.com saw a 9-percent increase in visitors as students and their parents stocked up on supplies for the school year.
Promotional Activity Behind a Number of Significant IncreasesRanking at the number three spot on this month’s top gaining properties list, 3M Corporation surged more than 600 percent as a result of its highly visible “World’s Largest Pink Ribbon” promotion related to Cancer Awareness Month in October. A popular interactive slide show on the best places to live in the U.S. helped draw 3.6 million visitors to Forbes Property in August – an increase of 37 percent versus July. Continued, aggressive promotional activity by United Airlines drew 31 percent more visitors, an increase of well over one million.
Top 50 PropertiesThe composition of the top 5 properties remained static from July to August, and Viacom Online edged into the final spot in the August top 10 with a 1-percent increase in traffic. Buoyed by coverage of the Republican National Convention, Fox News contributed to an increase in visitation of more than 1 million visitors at News Corp. Online. This visitation increase pushed News Corp. Online up 8 spots to August’s number 38 ranking, the largest jump among properties ranked in July and August’s Top 50. Increased interest in USAToday.com’s coverage of sports and news drove Gannett Sites up 5 spots to August’s number 28 ranking, while coverage of the Summer Olympics and the NFL season paved the way for ESPN to climb 5 spots to number 32.
The increase in visitation to NBCOlympics.com helped NBC Universal climb 36 spots to land at number 41 in August. The eve of the NFL regular season served as a springboard for NFL Internet Group to jump 66 places and claim the final spot in August’s Top 50.
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 July to August, the composition and rank order of the top 5 Ad Focus entities remained static, while Ebay.com jumped 2 spots to claim the final place in August’s top 10. The turbulent tropical storm season propelled a 9-percent increase at Weather.com, and a corresponding 10-spot increase in its ranking landed it in August’s Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking at number 43. Olympic and political coverage combined to spark a 14-spot increase at MSNBC to secure the final spot in the Top 50 Ad Focus ranking.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in August
**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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