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The Score: March in Review

comScore Media Metrix
The Score: March in Review comScore Media Metrix

Top Gaining Categories


Discovering family heritage, as well as researching information about relatives, is easier than ever thanks to online genealogy sites. Genealogy was the top gaining category in March 2005 with an increase of 31 percent, due in part to specific properties’ efforts to lure new customers. Driving this category’s growth, Ancestry Sites experienced remarkable growth of 38 percent by offering free trials and utilizing effective banner advertising.


Posting gains of 22 percent over February, the Religion category was the third-largest gaining category in March. The combination of a favorable comparison to last year (when Easter occurred in April instead of March) and the intense coverage surrounding Pope John Paul II also resulted in an increase of 53 percent compared to March 2004.


Travel subcategories comprised four of the top 10 spots in the top gaining category ranking. As Americans made plans to visit family for Easter, begin planning summer travel or finalize plans for Spring Break, they turned to the web for travel research and booking capabilities. More than 6.2 million Americans visited Car Rental sites in March 2005, an increase of nearly 30 percent over February. The Travel/Information category also experienced notable gains, with visitation to such sites increasing by 14 percent in March to reach 38.8 million unique visitors.


The approach of the summer concert season and increased interest in movies, likely driven by the Oscars, helped push a number of online ticket merchants up in March. Ticketmaster, Moviefone and MovieTickets.com all drew double-digit increases, leading to an increase of 12 percent for the category as a whole.




































































Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
March 2005 vs. February 2005
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix


 


Feb-05
(000)


Mar-05(000)


Percentage Change


Total Internet Population


160,287


164,263


3%


Hobbies/Lifestyles - Genealogy


9,664


12,657


31%


Travel - Car Rental


4,909


6,233


27%


Community - Religion


12,468


15,255


22%


Retail - Home Furnishings


26,943


30,948


15%


Classifieds


19,842


22,624


14%


Retail - Movies


25,981


29,590


14%


Travel - Information


34,055


38,765


14%


Travel - Airlines


26,404


29,701


13%


Travel - Ground/Cruise


10,342


11,623


12%


Retail - Tickets


32,818


36,882


12%


Top 10 Gaining Categories


With events such as the NCAA Basketball Tournament, coupled with the start of the Major League Baseball season, sports sites comprised half of the top 10 gaining properties. Sites such as NCAA, Sportsline.com sites and ESPN.com all posted double-digit growth, with NCAA posting a dramatic increase of nearly 500 percent over February 2005, and an impressive 11 percent increase over March 2004. Student Advantage, which owns the Official College Sports Network, also benefited from March Madness with an increase of 42 percent.


Nearly 3.5 million consumers visited GUS (the British holding company of Experian) in March 2005, most likely in response to the recent amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The amendment, which permits consumers to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the credit reporting companies, is being implemented region-by-region. GUS has seen a traffic increase of 32 percent from March 2004 to March 2005, and this property may see future increases as the Act continues to go into effect in new regions of the United States.


Sierra Mist’s Next Great Comic contest helped Pepsi Co. boost traffic by 45 percent to 5.2 million visitors, which in turned landed it in the number four position among the top 10 gaining properties.















































































Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
March 2005 vs. February 2005
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix


Property

Feb-05


(000)


Mar-05
(000)


Percentage
Change


Rank by
Unique Visitors


Total Internet Population


160,287


164,263


3%


 


NCAA


662


3,793


473%


221


Jamba! Sites


2,888


7,466


159%


105


Sportsline.com Sites


3,897


7,098


82%


110


Pepsi Co.


3,569


5,182


45%


163


Student Advantage


4,413


6,259


42%


131


GUS


2,456


3,477


42%


238


MLB.COM


4,945


6,885


39%


115


Foot Locker Sites


2,483


3,382


36%


247


MyFamily Network


8,562


11,474


34%


61


ESPN


12,481


16,684


34%


33


          *Ranking based on the top 250 properties in March.

Top 50 Properties


The top 10 properties remained the same in March as in February, except for CNET Networks, which attracted 19 percent more visitors and moved one spot to number 10. The NCAA Tournament and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season helped ESPN attract 4.2 million more visitors in March than in February and soar 18 spots to number 33.


Among sites in both the February and March Top 50 Properties, News Corp. Online had the largest jump, as 16.7 million Americans turned to the site, primarily to view "American Idol" and news content. News content, specifically relating to the Terri Schiavo and Michael Jackson cases, drove a 13 percent increase in traffic to Gannett Sites, which jumped six spots to number 26. Classmates.com sites gained 10 spots to finish at number 37, while Target Corporation and Overstock.com each gained six spots to finish at number 28 and 32, respectively. Finally, the rush to get U2 tickets, combined with the start of the baseball season, drove a 10 percent increase in traffic at Ticketmaster, the final property in March’s Top 50 Properties.






























































































































































































































Top 50 Properties
March 2005
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


164,263






1


Yahoo! Sites


120,237



26


Gannett Sites


18,547


2


Time Warner Network


117,508



27


CareerBuilder LLC


18,335


3


MSN-Microsoft Sites


115,209



28


Target Corporation


17,713


4


Google Sites


80,078



29


News Corp. Online


17,656


5


eBay


65,897



30


iVillage.com: The Womens Network


17,285


6


Ask Jeeves


44,099



31


Bank of America


17,263


7


Amazon Sites


40,322



32


OVERSTOCK.COM


17,158


8


About/Primedia


38,716



33


ESPN


16,684


9


Viacom Online


37,638



34


Apple Computer, Inc.


16,527


10


CNET Networks


34,535



35


AmericanGreetings Property


15,982


11


Weather Channel, The


33,054



36


Comcast Corporation


15,542


12


Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG)


31,898



37


Classmates.com Sites


15,500


13


Lycos, Inc.


29,913



38


JPMorgan Chase Property


15,343


14


Verizon Communications Corporation


29,414



39


ORBITZ.COM


14,900


15


Monster Worldwide


28,587



40


Adobe Sites


14,880


16


Intermix Media


27,297



41


E.W. Scripps


14,786


17


Expedia Travel


24,357



42


COOLSAVINGS.COM


14,714


18


Shopping.com Sites


23,934



43


Sony Online


14,692


19


Real.com Network


22,954



44


Shopzilla.com Sites


14,610


20


AT&T Properties


22,465



45


Travelocity


14,498


21


Infospace Network


20,281



46


Cox Enterprises Inc.


14,220


22


Wal-Mart


19,640



47


SBC Communications


13,791


23


Trip Network Inc.


19,583



48


Dell


12,945


24


Weatherbug.com Property


19,462



49


Hollywood


12,809


25


Gorilla Nation Media


19,059



50


Ticketmaster


12,661


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.

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