The State of Social Media
Comscore Media Metrix Announces Top 50 U.S. Internet Property Rankings for October 2004
RESTON, Va., Nov. 15, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of online consumer behavior, reporting that more than 25 million Americans – roughly one out of every six Internet users – visited the Politics category in October 2004. With each of the candidates’ Web sites earning the number one spot in three of the last six months, the race was as close online as it was overall.
Other highlights of online behavior trends from September to October include:
“That 25 million Americans visited political sites last month alone underscores the Web’s impact on this year’s election,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “From Howard Dean’s early fundraising efforts, to the Bush and Kerry campaigns’ continuous voter outreach, to candidates plugging their Web sites in televised debates – the Internet has earned an important and permanent place for itself in the election process.”
Kerry Campaign Ends Strong, at Least OnlineWhile it didn’t translate to a win on November 2nd, Senator Kerry’s Web site skyrocketed past President Bush’s in the final month of the presidential race. JohnKerry.com jumped 65 percent to draw 3.7 million visitors in October compared to an increase of 30 percent at GeorgeWBush.com, which closed the month with 3.2 million visitors. AOL Elections, the top site in the Politics category, rose 69 percent to 10.8 million visitors. All told, the Politics category was the top-gaining category in October, increasing 43 percent versus September.
Movies, Both Online and Offline, Were Hot in OctoberEntertainment-Movies was October’s second largest gaining category, with 21 percent more visitors than in September. The release of “Shark Tale,” which has grossed over $150 million at the box office, was likely behind substantial increases at both movie content and ticketing sites. Yahoo!, AOL and MSN’s movie channels, as well as Moviefone, Fandango and MovieTickets.com, all saw double-digit increases from September to October. SharkTale.com more than doubled from September to October, drawing nearly 500,000 visitors.
While “Shark Tale” and other feature films were significant contributors to the increase in visitation to the Entertainment-Movies category, the largest impact came from JibJab Media’s release of its second major animated movie, “Good to Be in DC.” In October, more than 6 million Americans visited JibJab Media, an increase of nearly 300 percent compared to September. While this doesn’t top the 10 million visitors the site drew in July when JibJab released its first movie, “This Land,” the increase was large enough to land JibJab the number one position in the October ranking of the top gaining properties. This growth also propelled Atomshockwave Sites, the online host of the film, up 111 percent.
Blockbuster, which recently launched its Blockbuster Online DVD subscription service in direct competition to Netflix, saw traffic increase by 52 percent between September and October. The online movie rental space has become increasingly competitive as Netflix, Wal-Mart and Blockbuster have all recently announced price reductions. Netflix saw its audience decline by approximately 6 percent in October, although the site still holds the lead in the Retail-Movies category, with 8.2 million visitors compared to Blockbuster’s 6.4 million.
Halloween and Fall Fashions Drive Apparel Sites up in OctoberA number of seasonal factors came together to help October’s third-largest gaining category, Apparel, realize a 20-percent month-over-month increase. BuyCostumes.com shot up 160 percent to temporarily become the category’s second-largest property. Nearly 5 million Americans visited the site in October – millions more than such well-known retailers as The Limited, Gap and Nordstrom drew last month. And with the seasons quickly changing and the holidays approaching, many multi-channel apparel retailers saw substantial increases in October. Led by Alloy (53 percent), OldNavy.com (39 percent) and Nordstrom (30 percent), eight of the top 10 properties in the Apparel category posted double-digit increases between September and October.
Promotions Boost Food and Beverage MarketersOnline and offline promotions by a number of large food and beverage marketers contributed to measurable increases in site traffic and an 18-percent bump in visitors to the Food category. KraftFoods.com, the category’s second-largest site (behind FoodNetwork.com), jumped nearly 60 percent as consumers turned to the site for Halloween recipes. A newsletter promotion with MyPoints.com helped drive 1.6 million visitors to Pillsbury.com, an increase of nearly 650 percent versus September. A Halloween game at CoorsLight.com brought nearly 1.4 million visitors to the site, up from fewer than 50,000 in September.
Additional October highlights
Top 50 PropertiesBuoyed by the launch of Blockbuster Online, Viacom Online gained more than 1.2 million visitors and grabbed the final spot in the October top ten. JibJab’s release of “Good to Be in DC” propelled Atomshockwave Sites up 111% to more than 11 million visitors in October. This meteoric rise raised the property from number 123 in September to number 47 in October.
Boosted by the start of the holiday season and efforts to develop social networking around auctions, Overstock.com posted a 14-spot increase in rank to number 41. An election-driven increase in visitation to FoxNews.com, and a free shipping promotion at FoxStore.com, helped News Corp. Online earn a 23-percent increase in visitation, the largest of any property ranked in the Top 50. The budding holiday shopping season contributed to increases at Wal-Mart (8-spot increase to number 19), Bizrate Sites (6-spot increase to number 36), Target Corporation (6-spot increase to number 40) and Dell (5-spot increase to number 38).
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 TribalFusion. 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.
This month’s Ad Focus ranking marks the introduction of the unduplicated view. This provides a more comprehensive view of the various sites that are supported by advertising. Comscore Media Metrix clients may still view the duplicated version through the MyMetrix online reporting system. Advertising.com, Yahoo! and MSN retained the top 3 spots in this new view of the Ad Focus ranking, while Casale Media Network debuted in the number 4 position.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in October
**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 AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Nestlé, Bank of America, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, GlaxoSmithKline and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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