The State of Social Media
Travel Sites Continue to See Strong Gains During Summer Months
Retail, Movie and Entertainment News Sites Keep Americans Entertained During July
RESTON, VA, August 15, 2008 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at the top online properties for July 2008 based on data from the Comscore Media Metrix service. Continuing the summer trends in Web usage observed last month, leisure-oriented categories demonstrated gains in July, including travel, retail, tickets and entertainment news.
“The summer months tend to draw Americans to more leisure pursuits and that was certainly the case in July,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Comscore Media Metrix. “Ground travel and cruise sites gained once again, as many Americans sought more budget-friendly ways to enjoy their summer vacations amid economic and fuel price concerns. Summer blockbusters and big celebrity news also provided a boost to the entertainment categories.”
Traffic to Travel Sites Continues to Grow
Several travel categories gained in July as Americans left for summer vacations. The travel – ground/cruise category jumped 10 percent to 12.7 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category for the month, while the travel-information category grew 7 percent to 47.6 million visitors.
The hotels/resorts category gained 6 percent to more than 34 million visitors. Some of the top-gainers in the category included Hotels.com (up 6 percent to 5.2 million), Choice Hotels International (up 8 percent to 3.2 million) and HolidayInn.com (up 11 percent to 2.7 million).
Certain Retail Categories Gain Despite Weak Economy
Despite a sluggish retail economy in the U.S., a handful of retail categories achieved traffic increases in July, possibly due to consumers shopping online instead of using expensive gasoline to drive to the store. Retail - consumer goods sites rose 8 percent to 22.5 million visitors, including double-digit growth by Staples.com Sites (up 22 percent to 6.5 million visitors), Office Depot (up 12 percent to 4.8 million visitors), and DisneyShopping.com (up 32 percent to 1.6 million visitors).
Meanwhile, the retail - mall category increased 7 percent to 28 million visitors, led by AOL Shopping with 6.3 million visitors (up 19 percent), MSN Shopping with 5.8 million visitors and QVC Sites with 5 million visitors.
The Dark Knight and other Summer Movies Drive Traffic to Ticket Sites
With the release of several highly anticipated summer films, most prominently The Dark Knight, retail – ticket sites grew 5 percent to more than 44 million visitors as movie goers pre-purchased tickets to avoid long lines and sell outs at theaters. Moviefone led the category with 17.5 million visitors (up 12 percent), while Fandango posted a 29-percent gain to 9.3 million visitors and MovieTickets.com jumped 13 percent to 4.7 million visitors.
Hot Celebrity Gossip Stories Prompt Growth at Entertainment News Sites
July was packed with major celebrity stories including the birth of Angelina and Brad’s twins and Christie Brinkley’s public divorce, which helped boost the entertainment news category 5 percent to 52.7 million visitors. Gossip site omg! led the category with more than 16 million visitors, a 19-percent gain from June, followed by TMZ with 9.7 million visitors (up 9 percent) and People with 8.8 million visitors (up 4 percent).
Top 50 Properties
Google Sites maintained its #1 position in the Top Properties ranking, reaching 141.6 million Americans in July, while Yahoo! Sites captured the second spot with 140.3 million and Microsoft Sites ranked third with 120.2 million visitors. CBS Corporation jumped 27 spots to #10 due to its recent acquisition of CNET Networks, which resulted in an incremental gain of nearly 30 million visitors to the property. Ask Network moved up two positions in the top 10 to #7 with 58.6 million visitors.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking
Platform-A, which includes Advertising.com, Quigo and other ad networks, led the Ad Focus ranking in July, reaching 90 percent of the 189 million Americans online. Yahoo! Network (85 percent reach) ranked second, followed by Google Ad Network (81 percent reach), and Specific Media (81 percent reach).
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in July 2008
Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in July. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 73 percent of the 189 million Internet users in July.
* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.
** Denotes an advertising network.
† The Platform A ad network is an aggregation of ad servers used by the following individual advertising network entities: Advertising.com, Tacoda, AOL, Quigo and Userplane.
†† Comscore has verified that a legitimate business relationship exists between YuMe and Microsoft through documentation provided. Therefore the YuMe Video Network – Media Partners entity meets all current rules for inclusion as a custom entity in the Ad Focus category.
About Comscore Media MetrixComscore Media Metrix provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report 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 reports are used by financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers. Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.
About ComscoreComscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/boilerplate
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