694 Million People Currently Use the Internet Worldwide According To Comscore Networks

Comscore Announces New Worldwide Online Universe Estimate Based on the World’s Largest, Most Representative Sample and Most Robust Methodology

Estimate Marks a Major Step Forward for Marketers and Media Properties around the World

RESTON, VA, May 4, 2006 – Comscore Networks today announced the launch of Comscore World Metrix, the first true estimate of global online audience size and behavior based on activity from the world’s largest online behavioral research panel. The Comscore World Metrix panel has active representation from countries that comprise 99 percent of the global Internet population. In launching Comscore World Metrix, the company announced that 694 million people, age 15+, used the Internet worldwide from all locations in March 2006, representing 14 percent of the world’s total population within this age group. This number marks the first worldwide universe estimate based on a consistent methodology across all countries.

Notably, Comscore World Metrix includes measurement of the major Asian countries, including China, Japan, India and Korea, which represent nearly 25 percent of the total worldwide online population (or 168.1 million users), and which, in the aggregate, are 11 percent larger than the U.S. (152 million users).

“Today, the online audience in the U.S. represents less than a quarter of Internet users across the globe, versus ten years ago when it accounted for two-thirds of the global audience,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “This is a sea change of enormous proportion, and Comscore is pleased to be able to provide measurement to aid the world’s largest marketers in understanding how the world uses the Internet.”

“Previously, MSN has attempted to harmonize disparate sources of data to get a global view. The fact that Comscore World Metrix data are produced with a consistent methodology worldwide will make a significant difference, enabling us to analyze what is happening globally and truly understand consumer online behavior,” said Chris Dobson, vice president of sales, MSN International. “This is a significant step forward for the industry and timed perfectly as the importance of markets outside the U.S. grows, especially rapidly developing countries like China and India, which up to now have not enjoyed such insight.”

Top 15 Online Populations by Country, Among Visitors Age 15+*
March 2006
Total Worldwide – All Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: Comscore World Metrix
  Unique Visitors (000)
Worldwide Total 694,260
United States 152,046
China 74,727
Japan 52,100
Germany 31,813
United Kingdom 30,190
South Korea 24,645
France 23,884
Canada 18,996
Italy 16,834
India 16,713
Brazil 13,186
Spain 12,452
Netherlands 10,969
Russia 10,833
Australia 9,735

* Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafe and, access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Israel, Finland and South Korea Lead the World in Online Engagement

Comscore also released the top 15 countries ranked by average hours spent online per visitor for March 2006, as a measure of engagement. Israel led the list, with the average user spending 57.5 hours online during the month – twice as much time compared to the average person in the U.S, which did not rank in the top 15 countries. Rounding out the top 5 were Finland, South Korea, the Netherlands and Taiwan – all countries with high broadband penetration.

“Comscore World Metrix data show high levels of engagement in countries outside the U.S. In fact, the U.S. does not even make the top 15 country list in terms of hours per user per month,” said Mr. Daboll. “These high engagement levels demonstrate the importance of global measurement and underscore the fact that the Web is certainly not just a U.S. phenomenon.”

Top 15 Countries by Average Monthly Hours Online per Unique Visitor
Among Visitors Age 15+*
March 2006
Total Worldwide – All Locations
Source: Comscore World Metrix
  Avg. Hours per Visitor March-06
Worldwide 31.3
Israel  57.5
Finland  49.3
South Korea  47.2
Netherlands  43.5
Taiwan  43.2
Sweden  41.4
Brazil  41.2
Hong Kong  41.2
Portugal  39.8
Canada  38.4
Germany  37.2
Denmark  36.8
France  36.8
Norway  35.4
Venezuela  35.3

* Excludes traffic from public computers such as internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Top Global Properties

Comscore also issued a sneak preview of the top 15 media properties worldwide, with MSN- Microsoft Sites topping the list with 538.6 million global users, followed by Google (495.8 million users), and Yahoo! (480.2 million users). Yahoo! Sites led all global properties in page views with 137.2 billion page views during March, followed by Google (108.7 billion page views), and MSN- Microsoft Sites (96.2 billion page views). Comscore will officially begin releasing World Metrix statistics with the issuance of May data in June.

“While the “big three” properties remain consistent among worldwide and U.S. audiences, Wikipedia has emerged as a site that continues to increase in popularity, both globally and in the U.S. Wikipedia’s popularity demonstrates the global power of the Web to unite and provide information across countries and languages, but the full extent of its global appeal is only measurable through this new worldwide measurement,” Mr. Daboll commented.

Top 15 Online Properties Worldwide, Among Visitors Age 15+*
March 2006
Total Worldwide – All Locations
Source: Comscore World Metrix
  Unique Visitors (000)
Worldwide Total 694,260
MSN-Microsoft Sites  538,578
Google Sites  495,788
Yahoo! Sites  480,228
eBay  269,690
Time Warner Network  241,525
Amazon Sites  154,640
Wikipedia Sites  131,949
Ask Network  127,377
Adobe Sites  115,774
Lycos, Inc.  109,394
CNET Networks  107,589
Apple Computer, Inc.  98,622
Real.com Network  78,104
Monster Worldwide  74,152
Wanadoo Sites  73,446

* Excludes traffic from public computers such as internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Companies interested in obtaining information about Comscore World Metrix services should call (866) 276-6972.

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 proprietary 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, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510


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