Americans Flood Online Stores as Holidays Approach

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

RESTON, Va., Dec. 20, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of online consumer behavior, which reported that 128 million consumers visited sites in the Retail category in November 2004, representing fully 80 percent of the U.S. Internet population. Retail sites, such as those operated by KB Toys, Best Buy and Toys“R”Us, dominated this month’s top gaining properties ranking, with monthly increases ranging from 45 percent to 155 percent.

“Consumers will spend more than $15 billion online this holiday season, but the Web’s impact on retail extends far beyond its application as a direct selling medium,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “Tens of millions of Americans use the Internet to research products that they ultimately buy offline, helping make the shopping process more efficient and convenient than ever before.”

Eight of the Top 10 Gaining Categories Were Retail Related
Eight of November’s top ten gaining categories were Retail subcategories (see table 2). The Jewelry, Luxury Goods & Accessories category led the way, with an increase in visitation of nearly 40 percent compared to October. In November, more than 13 million Americans visited this category, in which each of the top ten sites saw double-digit percentage increases. Comscore research has also revealed that Jewelry & Watches is the fastest growing product category measured by actual online sales in the year-to-date through December 12. So far this year, consumers have spent $1.35 billion in the category, an increase of 58 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.

Parents desperately hunting for this year’s hard-to-find toys turned to Toys category sites in droves last month. Nearly 22 million Americans visited the category, an increase of 24 percent compared to October and 14 percent compared to November 2003. Category leader Toys“R”Us saw traffic jump 68 percent from October to November to 9.6 million visitors. KBToys jumped 155 percent to 3.2 million visitors, making it the top gaining property in November (see table 1).

The Department Stores category, which includes such well-known traditional retailers as Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenney, Sears and Kohl’s, was up 21 percent between October and November 2004 and 29 percent compared to last November. A Comscore analysis revealed that aggregate holiday spending at the Web sites of 25 major multi-channel retailers is up more than 50 percent, a level of growth more than twice that of total online retail (23 percent).

The two non-retail categories that ranked among top ten gaining categories in November were Hobbies/Lifestyles – Food and e-Cards. Nearly 34 million Americans visited the Food category in search of Thanksgiving recipes and other meal planning tips. The top four sites in the category, FoodNetwork.com, KraftFoods.com AllRecipes.com and About Food, all saw traffic increase 20 percent or more. The e-Cards category saw a 12-percent increase in traffic, driven primarily by a substantial pickup in visitation to category leader American Greetings. The site drew 13.5 million visitors in November, an increase of 27 percent versus October.

Top 50 Properties
The holiday season provided the impetus for several notable changes in the Top 50 property ranking. Best Buy Sites shot up 55 spots to place it at number 20 in November, bolstered by the nearly 10 million visitors that visited the retailer’s BestBuyGiftFinder.com site.

Among sites in the Top 50 Properties in both October and November, Target Corporation had the largest jump, moving up 15 spots to number 25. Sears Sites posted a similar 15-spot gain to move into the Top 50 at number 39. Overstock.com (November’s number 31), Shopping.com Sites (number 22) and Sony Online (number 37) gained 10, 6 and 6 spots, respectively.

AmericanGreetings Property received a 27-percent boost from holiday e-cards, moving it 12 spots to number 38. Thanksgiving traffic to FoodNetwork.com helped E.W Scripps post a 27-percent month-over-month gain, as well as a 24-percent gain from last November, to finish in the number 40 spot with 13.2 million visitors.

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 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 continues using 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 the Ad Focus ranking for the seventh consecutive month, while analysis of election returns and a heavy news month joined forces to move CNN and MSNBC four spots each, to finish at number 21 and 22, in November’s Ad Focus ranking.

TABLE 1

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
November 2004 vs. October 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Property Oct-04 (000) Nov-04 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Users 158,352 159,736 1% N/A
KB Toys 1,267 3,236 155% 229
Best Buy Sites 8,179 20,403 149% 20
SMARTBARGAINS.COM 3,238 5,844 80% 116
Vonage Holdings Corp 1,876 3,328 77% 224
CAPITOLADVANTAGE.COM 1,863 3,215 73% 231
Toysrus Sites 5,703 9,589 68% 65
ALLRECIPES.COM 3,202 4,840 51% 142
PriceGrabber 3,510 5,201 48% 132
KOHLS.COM 3,423 5,067 48% 134
Barnes & Noble 5,257 7,625 45% 89

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in November

TABLE 2

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
November 2004 vs. October 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
  Oct-04 (000) Nov-04 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet Users 158,352 159,736 1%
Retail – Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories 9,304 13,014 40%
Retail – Toys 17,571 21,861 24%
Retail – Department Stores 39,576 47,937 21%
Retail – Fragrances/Cosmetics 9,832 11,793 20%
Retail – Sports/Outdoor 17,136 20,159 18%
Retail – Flowers/Gifts/Greetings 28,264 32,949 17%
Retail – Mall 39,552 45,708 16%
Retail – Music 26,748 30,715 15%
Hobbies/Lifestyles – Food 29,394 33,600 14%
Services – e-cards 35,423 39,540 12%

TABLE 3

Top 50 Properties
November 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 159,736        
1 Yahoo! Sites 116,294   26 Expedia Travel 17,783
2 Time Warner Network 113,121   27 Gannett Sites 17,011
3 MSN-Microsoft Sites 110,664   28 Intermix Media 16,975
4 Google Sites 68,968   29 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 16,861
5 eBay 61,167   30 Bank of America 15,752
6 Amazon Sites 43,080   31 OVERSTOCK.COM 15,702
7 Ask Jeeves 39,095   32 Shopzilla Sites 14,947
8 About/Primedia 38,299   33 ORBITZ.COM 14,754
9 Viacom Online 34,696   34 ESPN Network 14,444
10 Symantec 32,384   35 News Corp. Online 13,854
11 Monster Worldwide 31,078   36 CareerBuilder LLC 13,665
12 Lycos, Inc. 28,514   37 Sony Online 13,529
13 CNET Networks 28,377   38 AmericanGreetings Property 13,525
14 Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) 28,343   39 Sears Sites 13,493
15 Wal-Mart 25,823   40 E.W. Scripps 13,218
16 Verizon Communications Corporation 25,568   41 Dell 13,203
17 Real.com Network 24,283   42 SBC Communications 12,825
18 Weather Channel, The 24,246   43 Comcast Corporation 12,776
19 AT&T Properties 23,789   44 NFL Internet Group 12,555
20 Best Buy Sites 20,403   45 Classmates.com Sites 12,536
21 Weatherbug.com Property 19,205   46 United Online, Inc 12,528
22 Shopping.com Sites 18,818   47 JPMorgan Chase Property 12,485
23 Gorilla Nation Media 18,792   48 Macromedia 12,425
24 InfoSpace Network 18,607   49 Trip Network Inc. 12,334
25 Target Corporation 18,464   50 EA Online 12,200

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
November 2004
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 159,736 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 122,180 76%   26 GATOR (App) 22,469 14%
2 Yahoo! 114,637 72%   27 REAL.COM 19,244 12%
3 MSN 96,341 60%   28 WeatherBug 18,999 12%
4 TrafficMarketplace** 91,612 57%   29 Expedia Travel 17,783 11%
5 AOL 84,609 53%   30 Netscape 17,441 11%
6 Casale Media Network** 82,772 52%   31 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 16,861 11%
7 YAHOO.COM Home Page 74,114 46%   32 CareerBuilder Network 16,227 10%
8 GOOGLE.COM 66,646 42%   33 Disney Online 16,091 10%
9 ValueClick Media** 61,911 39%   34 EA Online Syndicated Games 14,785 9%
10 Tribal Fusion** 58,898 37%   35 ORBITZ.COM 14,754 9%
11 EBAY.COM 58,275 36%   36 ESPN Network 14,444 9%
12 MSN.COM Home Page 51,156 32%   37 MONSTER.COM 14,049 9%
13 24/7 Real Media** 44,251 28%   38 BIZRATE.COM 13,869 9%
14 BURST! Media** 39,980 25%   39 Travelocity All 13,615 9%
15 Ask Jeeves 39,095 24%   40 WebMD Medscape Health Network 12,750 8%
16 EBAY.COM Home Page 34,890 22%   41 CLASSMATES.COM 12,536 8%
17 MAPQUEST.COM 33,089 21%   42 SuperPages Network 12,421 8%
18 Vendare Group Search-New.Net Sites 32,294 20%   43 CNN.COM Home Page 12,318 8%
19 Lycos Network 28,621 18%   44 EA Online Games 11,566 7%
20 ClickAgents Network** 25,736 16%   45 INFOSPACE.COM 10,779 7%
21 CNN 25,282 16%   46 IMDB.COM 10,626 7%
22 MSNBC 24,926 16%   47 ENTREPRENEUR.COM 10,544 7%
23 ABOUT.COM 23,904 15%   48 EARTHLINK.NET 9,916 6%
24 CNET 23,755 15%   49 GO.COM 9,275 6%
25 WEATHER.COM 23,031 14%   50 CHEAPTICKETS.COM 9,237 6%

**Indicates that the 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 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, 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.

Press
Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications
646-370-1341
press@comscore.com