Official FIFA World Cup Web Site Attracts Millions of Viewers And Billions of Page Views from Around the World in June

Traffic from U.S. to World Cup Site Increases 10-Fold in June; Community and Video Sites Continue their Rise; Consumers Continue Planning Vacation Travel

RESTON, VA, July 13, 2006 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer activity at top online properties and categories. Not only did Americans demonstrate their interest in the World Cup tournament through significant visitation to the Official FIFA World Cup Web site, but they also drove the Online Gambling category into the top ten gaining category list, making it the second-highest gainer during the month of June. Online video and community sites continued to gain popularity in June, as Youtube.com became the 58th most-visited site on the Web with 13.4 million visitors, and MySpace.com visitation grew 2 percent while many of the Web’s largest sites were flat or down for the month.

“Sites offering opportunities for social interaction continue to dominate the ratings,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “Video-sharing and user-generated sites like Youtube, which for months have been attracting visitors in the millions, are now also catching the attention of marketers – as evidenced by NBC’s partnership with Youtube, which was announced in June. This shift is a clear indication that marketers recognize the power, reach and marketing potential of online video, which will certainly continue to grow.”

The FIFA World Cup Site Kicks into High Gear in June

Internet users from more than 35 countries worldwide visited the official World Cup site at fifaworldcup.yahoo.com, which received an average of nearly 4 million daily visitors worldwide. As a clear indication of the widespread interest in the tournament, Comscore revealed that 4.3 billion pages were viewed by fans around the world from June 9 – July 9.

After doubling from April to May, U.S. traffic to the official World Cup site continued its ascent in June capturing 8.2 million unique visitors, increasing 10-fold versus the prior month. Additionally, the average U.S. visitor spent more than 44 minutes on the site—four times as long as in May. Although only 25 percent of total worldwide visitors to the site were from the U.S., Americans were heavily engaged in the tournament, viewing 52 pages per day. In fact, those visiting the World Cup site from workplace computers viewed 80 pages per day at the site, stimulated by the fact that the majority of games were played during U.S. working hours.

The popularity of the game in Latin America was highlighted by heavily involved Mexican and Argentinean Internet users who viewed 56 and 41 pages per day, respectively. Within Europe, the success of the Italian and Portuguese teams stimulated strong interest, as Italians viewed 44 pages per day on average and Portuguese viewed an average of 48 pages per day.

TABLE 1

Most Active Countries Visiting the Official World Cup Web Site
Total Worldwide Internet Users – All Locations
June 9 – July 9 2006
Average Daily Page Views per Unique Visitor
Source: Comscore World Metrix
  Average Number of Pages Viewed per Person per Day
Worldwide 35
Mexico 56
United States 52
Portugal 48
Italy 44
Switzerland 44
Argentina 41
Spain 38
Japan 36
France 33
Germany 31

As the tournament progressed and teams were eliminated, overall usage at the site declined. The most active day was Thursday, June 22 when 288 million pages were viewed by worldwide visitors as key games in the group stages were completed. In contrast, 146 million pages were viewed on July 5, the day of the semi-final between France and Portugal, and 92 million pages were viewed on the day of the final, Sunday, July 9, when many viewers were likely gathered around their televisions. The fall-off in visitation later in the tournament was clearly highlighted by the country-specific usage figures, shown below.

TABLE 2

Reduction in Total Page Views by Country, Post-Elimination of “Home Teams”
Total Worldwide Internet Users – All Locations
Source: Comscore World Metrix
  “Home Team” Elimination Day Percentage Change Total Page Views*
Argentina June 30 -55%
Australia  June 26 -52%
Brazil  July 1 -34%
England  July 1 -58%
Japan  June 22 -26%
Mexico  June 24 -50%
Netherlands  June 25 -66%
South Korea  June 23 -34%
Spain  June 27 -69%
Sweden  June 24 -57%
Switzerland  June 26 -58%
United States  June 22 -50

*Percentages calculated by comparing the total pages viewed per day from a given country after the elimination of the national team to the total pages viewed per day up to and including the date of elimination.

Not coincidentally, U.S. traffic to Online Gambling sites, which includes sites like Sporting Bet PLC (which had 1.8 million visitors in June, an 81-percent increase versus May), increased as fans went online to place World Cup bets. The Online Gambling category represented the second-biggest category-gainer, attracting 23.3 million U.S. visitors in June, a 13-percent increase versus May.

Community and Video Sites Continue to Reign Supreme in June

As buzz about the site continued in June, visitation to MySpace continued to rise, growing 2 percent from May to June with 52.3 million visitors. FreeWebLayouts.net, which provides templates for MySpace pages, was the third-biggest gainer, up 47 percent (from 3 to 4.5 million). In addition, dating conglomerate Spark Networks increased 35 percent from May to June, marking 3.7 million visitors and ranking it 4th on the top gaining property list.

Similar spikes were seen in community sites that target teens or homosexuals. The Gay/Lesbian category was the top-gaining category in June, up 16 percent with more than 2 million visitors. Planetout, the most-visited site in the category, grew 5 percent with 817,000 visitors, while traffic to Downelink.com, an online gay community, increased 81 percent, attracting 262,000 visitors. Teen community sites drew 25 million visitors in June, an increase of 9 percent versus May. Lycos Angelfire captured the top spot in the category with 7.8 million visitors. Additionally, MyYearbook.com was the 5th top-gaining Web property overall, surging from 3 to 4 million visitors as the school year drew to a close.

Similarly, sites dedicated to online video continued to surge in June. User-generated video favorite Youtube.com became the 58th most-visited Web property, with 13.4 million visitors in June (up 5 percent from May). Yahoo! Video, which recently re-launched, realized a 5-percent increase in traffic versus May, reaching 4.5 million visitors. Additionally, Toptvbytes.com earned a spot on the Top Ten Gaining Properties list for the second consecutive month, reaching 6.8 million visitors in June (up 27 percent), while Heavy Networks garnered the number 8 spot on the list, up 31 percent to 8.1 million visitors.

The viral nature of online video was exemplified by a piece produced by Seattle-based ABC News-affiliate, KOMO TV, about Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). The video and related article was forwarded across the country via e-mail, creating a viral phenomenon that drove significant traffic to komonews.com. As a result, traffic to KOMO TV holding company, Fisher Communications Inc. surged 559 percent, ranking it as the top gaining property in June with 5.3 million visitors.

Consumers Log On For Travel-Related Resources

The Web continued to be a popular resource for consumers doing last-minute planning in June for their summer vacations, as the Travel Information category grew 6 percent (to 43.3 million visitors), led by Yahoo! Travel with 11.2 million visitors and Tripadvisor with 8 million visitors. The Hotels/Resorts category grew 7 percent in June (to 36.5 million visitors), led by Hotels.com with 7.1 million visitors and Intercontinental Hotels Group with 5.5 million visitors.

Movie-Goers Logging On

Where have all the movie-goers gone? Online. While the box office remained in a bit of a slump, consumer Web traffic to retail movie sites in June was booming with 25.2 million visitors (a 5-percent increase). Leading the category was Netflix, which reached 10 million visitors in June, up 8 percent versus May. Blockbuster also realized strong gains, up 13 percent to 6.6 million visitors.

Top 50 Properties

In June, Yahoo! Sites remained the number one property, attracting more than 128 million unique visitors, while the Time Warner Network held its number two position for the second consecutive month, drawing more than 120 million unique visitors. As eager soccer fans logged on for World Cup stats, ESPN experienced a 10-percent increase in unique visitors, climbing four spots to number 32. With the end of the school year, youngsters spent more time surfing the Internet, as reflected in increases to Disney Online, which enjoyed a substantial uptick in unique visitors, jumping from number 30 to number 19. Finally, as Americans go online to share their summer vacation experiences with loved ones, Photobucket.com LLC entered the top 50 at number 47, attracting just under 14 million unique visitors.

Top 50 Ad Focus

The June Ad Focus Ranking saw Advertising.com reach more than 143 million Americans to retain its number one position, while Casale Media Network moved up one spot to number five, reaching 60 percent of Americans online. Advertising Network, AdBrite, had a strong debut in June, entering the ranking at number 19, reaching 33 percent of the U.S. population online. Gaming entities GameDaily Custom Network and EA Online Syndicated Games re-entered the ranking at numbers 35 and 50, respectively, contributing to the 8-percent increase to the Gaming Information category.

TABLE 3

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
June 2006 vs. May 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
 Property May-06 (000) Jun-06 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
 Total Internet Population 172,120 172,907 0% N/A
 Fisher Communications, Inc. 800 5,276 559% 166
 POSTOPIA.COM 1,822 3,473 91% 248
 FREEWEBLAYOUTS.NET 3,038 4,479 47% 196
 Spark Networks 2,698 3,651 35% 236
 MYYEARBOOK.COM 3,048 4,039 33% 217
 Coca-Cola Company 3,358 4,444 32% 197
 BEST-PRICE.COM 3,692 4,880 32% 179
 Heavy Networks 6,208 8,134 31% 106
 TOPTVBYTES.COM 5,316 6,753 27% 129
 Photobucket.com LLC 10,962 13,878 27% 47

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in June 2006.

TABLE 4

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
June 2006 vs. May 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
  May-06 (000) Jun-06 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 172,120 172,907 0
Gay/Lesbian 1,776 2,055 16%
Online Gambling 20,652 23,289 13%
Coupons 16,768 18,806 12%
Teens 23,022 25,012 9%
Gaming Information 32,640 35,122 8%
Hotels/Resorts 34,001 36,530 7%
Toys 18,135 19,398 7%
Travel - Information 40,846 43,257 6%
Retail - Movies 23,951 25,223 5%
Classifieds 33,578 35,255 5%

TABLE 5

Top 50 Properties June 2006
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 172,907        
1 Yahoo! Sites 128,671   26 Bank of America 23,263
2 Time Warner Network 120,606   27 Real.com Network 21,301
3 Microsoft Sites 117,679   28 CareerBuilder LLC 21,019
4 Google Sites 102,802   29 CBS Corporation 20,508
5 eBay 77,752   30 Gannett Sites 19,757
6 MYSPACE.COM 52,342   31 Shopzilla.com Sites 18,865
7 Ask Network 52,339   32 ESPN 17,742
8 Amazon Sites 49,040   33 Comcast Corporation 17,151
9 New York Times Digital 38,132   34 Vendare Media 17,133
10 Weather Channel, The 36,296   35 Cox Enterprises Inc. 16,268
11 Verizon Communications Corporation 35,282   36 ORBITZ.COM 15,911
12 Apple Computer, Inc. 31,099   37 Weatherbug Property 15,842
13 Viacom Online 30,222   38 WhitePages 15,656
14 Monster Worldwide 29,473   39 Trip Network Inc. 15,636
15 Expedia Inc 28,760   40 E.W. Scripps 14,960
16 CNET Networks 28,284   41 Bolt Media 14,941
17 Wikipedia Sites 27,295   42 UPS Sites 14,755
18 Adobe Sites 26,842   43 Ticketmaster 14,577
19 Disney Online 26,652   44 ARTISTdirect Network 14,527
20 United Online, Inc 25,735   45 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 14,330
21 AT&T, Inc. 25,554   46 USPS.COM 14,093
22 Wal-Mart 25,279   47 Photobucket.com LLC 13,878
23 Gorilla Nation Media 25,275   48 Capital One 13,848
24 Lycos, Inc. 23,560   49 EA Online 13,837
25 Target Corporation 23,484   50 Travelocity 13,769

TABLE 6

Ad Focus Ranking June 2006
Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 172,907 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 143,614 83%   26 Disney Online 26,652 15%
2 Yahoo! 126,959 73%   27 WEATHER.COM 26,106 15%
3 ValueClick** 126,429 73%   28 Business.com Network 25,562 15%
4 AOL Media Network 113,360 66%   29 Lycos Network 23,418 14%
5 Casale Media Network** 104,572 60%   30 CareerBuilder Network 21,560 12%
6 Tribal Fusion** 103,682 60%   31 CNN 19,891 12%
7 MSN-Windows Live 100,327 58%   32 EXPEDIA.COM* 19,684 11%
8 Google 98,856 57%   33 IMDB.COM 18,471 11%
9 Vendare Media - TrafficMarketplace** 97,730 57%   34 GameDaily Custom Network 17,948 10%
10 AOL 87,991 51%   35 SuperPages 17,807 10%
11 YAHOO.COM Home Page 84,284 49%   36 ESPN 17,742 10%
12 24/7 Real Media** 83,117 48%   37 Vendare Media 17,133 10%
13 Burst Media** 79,004 46%   38 WebMD Health Network 17,121 10%
14 Tremor Network 69,435 40%   39 Travelocity All 16,106 9%
15 EBAY.COM 67,878 39%   40 ORBITZ.COM 15,911 9%
16 Blue Lithium** 59,935 35%   41 WeatherBug 15,683 9%
17 Gorilla Nation Media Network 59,355 34%   42 WhitePages Network 15,608 9%
18 DRIVEpm** 58,170 34%          
19 AdBrite** 57,122 33%   43 REAL.COM* 14,795 9%
20 MSN.COM Home Page 54,782 32%   44 ARTISTdirect Network 14,527 8%
21 MYSPACE.COM 52,342 30%   45 WHITEPAGES.COM 14,508 8%
22 Ask Network 52,339 30%   46 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 14,330 8%
23 AdDynamix.com** 42,536 25%   47 MONSTER.COM* 14,144 8%
24 Vibrant Media** 40,722 24%   48 CLASSMATES.COM 13,963 8%
25 EBAY.COM Home Page 37,023 21%   49 EA Online Syndicated Games 13,859 8%
25 ABOUT.COM 33,112 19%   50 EA Online Games 13,758 8

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in June. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 73 percent of the more than 172 million Internet users in June.
* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.
** Denotes 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

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