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Home > Research

June 2006

Social Networking Sites Continue to Attract Record Numbers as MySpace.Com Surpasses 50 Million U.S. Visitors in May
comScore Media Metrix Releases May Top 50 Web Rankings and Analysis; Online Interest in World Cup and NBA Championships Heats Up; Spring Upfront Television Season Drives Traffic

 comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer activity at top online properties and categories.  In addition to shopping for Moms and Grads, checking out job sites, and staying on top of personal finance and politics in May, Americans also flocked to their favorite TV show and  sports sites, including those focused on the World Cup and NBA playoff games.  The social networking phenomenon also continued its stratospheric ascent, as MySpace.com reached new heights with 50 million visitors in May and YouTube.com nearly doubled its traffic from April, reaching 12.6 million visitors. 

 “The popularity of social networking is not expected to wane in the near future,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. “This is a phenomenon we’re seeing not only in the U.S., but also around the world.    The challenge for social networking sites will now be monetization and how advertisers will respond to the global marketing potential of these sites.”

TABLE 1

Selected Social Networking Properties by Unique Visitors

May 2006

Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Internet Users

Source: comScore Media Metrix

 

Property

May-06

(000)

Total Internet Population

172,120

MYSPACE.COM

51,441

Classmates.com Sites

14,792

FACEBOOK.COM

14,069

YOUTUBE.COM

12,669

MSN Spaces

9,566

XANGA.COM

7,146

FLICKR.COM

5,163

Yahoo! 360°

4,936

LIVEJOURNAL.COM

3,904

MYYEARBOOK.COM

3,048

Professional Soccer and Basketball Garner Attention Weeks before June Championships

Americans demonstrated their interest in the World Cup soccer tournament and NBA Playoffs in the weeks preceding the June tournaments.  As evidence, the NBA Internet Network attracted 6.3 million visitors in May (a 24-percent increase versus April), and fifaworldcup.yahoo.com – the official World Cup site – doubled its traffic, reaching more than 788,000 visitors.   Even more impressive was the worldwide traffic to the official World Cup site during the opening days of the tournament, with more than 5 million unique visitors from around the globe visiting the site on the opening day, Friday, June 9.  Traffic to the site remained strong throughout the opening weekend, with average daily visitors through Sunday, June 11, surpassing 4.4 million visitors. 

Spring TV Sweeps Drive Web Traffic “Upfront” and Center

With spring sweeps in full swing, fans headed to TV Web sites in numbers to check out details for the season finales of their favorite shows.  ABC, which aggressively promoted streamed versions of its hit shows “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” was rewarded with a 39-percent increase in visitors to ABC.com, surging to 6.9 million visitors.  Traffic to the official “Lost” site increased 71 percent to 1.2 million visitors in May.  Meanwhile, the “Desperate Housewives” site attracted 528,000 visitors, up 36 percent from the prior month, and the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” site saw a 41-percent uptick in traffic to 286,000 visitors.  The season finale of NBC’s long running ER drove traffic to the show’s site, with 236,000 visitors in May, up 49 percent compared to April.  

Moms Receive Buds and Bling for Mother’s Day

Increases in visitation to the Flowers/Gifts/Greetings and Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories categories were likely attributable to shoppers researching and buying gifts for Mother’s Day and graduation celebrations.  Traffic to the Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories category increased 15 percent versus April to 15.9 million visitors, with RedEnvelope.com leading the category at 1.6 million visitors (up 25 percent).  Traffic to the Flowers/Gifts/Greetings category rose 10 percent in May versus the prior month.  This rise helped fuel a 16-percent increase in online sales to the category during the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same week in 2005 ($195.8 million vs. $168.5 million). Top gainers in the category during May included Proflowers.com and FTD.com, both achieving 120-percent gains versus April (4.1 and 5.4 million visitors, respectively). 

Jobs and Finances are a Focus in May

As Americans watched interest rates continue to rise, their visitation to sites in the Financial News/ Research category increased 12 percent in May (up to 48.8 million).  Traffic to Financial Information/ Advice sites also increased during the month from 39.9 million visitors in April to 42 million visitors in May, led by traffic increases at Freecreditreport.com (up 21 percent to 6.8 million visitors), and Loanweb.com (up 141 percent to 5.8 million visitors).

Additionally, traffic to job search and career resource sites saw impressive gains (see Table 3) as graduates readied themselves for the real world.  Leading the job search sites were CareerBuilder.com Job Search, with 8.1 million visitors in May (a 9 percent increase from April), Monster.com Job Search with 7.3 million visitors (a 9 percent increase), and Yahoo! HotJobs Job Search with 3.4 million visitors (a 12 percent increase).

Visitation to Political Web Sites Increases in May

As the buzz about upcoming Congressional and gubernatorial races grew in May, so did traffic to political Web.  In fact, the politics category was the top gaining category in May with 8.1 million visitors, rising 31 percent versus the previous month. Leading sites within the politics category include Capitol Advantage, dedicated to connecting organizations to national and state elected officials, (up 126 percent to 1.6 million visitors); WorldNetDaily.com, independent news site, (up 20 percent to 637,000 visitors) and political action site, Moveon.org, (up 14 percent to 492,000 visitors).

Top 50 Properties

Yahoo! Sites retained its position as the number one property in May, attracting more than 130 million unique visitors, while Time Warner Network traded places with MSN-Microsoft Sites to claim the number two spot, drawing slightly more than 119 million visitors.  Social networking site Facebook.com entered the ranking at number 49, attracting 13 percent more visitors than the previous month.  

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking

In May, Advertising.com retained the number one spot, reaching 83 percent of Americans online.  Also within the top ten, advertising networks Tribal Fusion and Casale Media Network claimed the number five and six spots respectively, each reaching more than 100 million Americans.  Other noteworthy gainers included Monster.com, which jumped eight spots to number 41, and Travelocity All, which moved up four spots to number 39.  Mamma Media Solutions and Whitepages.com both reentered the ranking at numbers 46 and 50, respectively. 

TABLE 2

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*

May 2006 vs. April 2006

Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Internet Users

Source: comScore Media Metrix

Property

Apr-06

(000)

May-06

(000)

Percentage

Change

Rank by

 Unique Visitors

Total Internet Population

171,690

172,120

0%

N/A

TOPTVBYTES.COM

1,761

5,316

202%

170

LOANWEB.COM

2,411

5,807

141%

154

PROFLOWERS.COM

1,865

4,105

120%

218

FTD.COM

2,496

5,479

120%

161

YOUTUBE.COM

6,592

12,669

92%

61

1-800-Flowers

2,185

3,887

78%

228

Roxio, Inc

2,780

4,698

69%

192

FRONTIERNET.NET

2,163

3,575

65%

249

BIGFISHGAMES.COM

2,301

3,673

60%

242

HighBeam Research Sites

2,555

3,729

46%

239

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

TABLE 3


 

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors

May 2006 vs. April 2006

Total U.S. – Home, Work and University Internet Users

Source: comScore Media Metrix

 

Apr-06

(000)

May-06

(000)

Percentage Change

Total Internet Population

171,690

172,120

0%

Politics

6,238

8,146

31%

Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories

13,865

15,953

15%

Job Search

14,534

16,234

12%

Finance News/Research

44,450

48,802

10%

Flowers/Gifts/Greetings

35,473

38,906

10%

Ground/Cruise

10,009

10,932

9%

Community

116,074

123,219

6%

Career Resources

36,223

38,392

6%

Personals

24,765

26,156

6%

Financial Information/Advice

39,953

42,005

5%

TABLE 4 

Top 50 Properties

May 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

172,120

 

 

 

 

1

Yahoo! Sites

130,143

 

26

Bank of America

22,994

2

Time Warner Network

119,206

 

27

CareerBuilder LLC

22,339

3

MSN-Microsoft Sites

118,907

 

28

CBS Corporation

22,043

4

Google Sites

104,367

 

29

News Corp. Online

21,498

5

eBay

77,525

 

30

Disney Online

21,400

6

Ask Network

54,603

 

31

Vendare Media

20,725

7

MYSPACE.COM

51,441

 

32

Shopzilla.com Sites

20,282

8

Amazon Sites

48,278

 

33

Gannett Sites

20,137

9

New York Times Digital

40,342

 

34

Cox Enterprises Inc.

17,274

10

Verizon Communications Corporation

36,238

 

35

Comcast Corporation

16,840

11

The Weather Channel

35,600

 

36

ESPN

16,175

12

Wikipedia Sites

31,485

 

37

Weatherbug Property

15,958

13

Apple Computer, Inc.

30,885

 

38

E.W. Scripps

15,820

14

Monster Worldwide

29,882

 

39

ORBITZ.COM

15,494

15

Viacom Online

29,512

 

40

iVillage.com: The Womens Network

15,194

16

CNET Networks

28,996

 

41

WebMD Health

15,149

17

Expedia Inc

27,595

 

42

Citysearch

15,103

18

United Online, Inc

26,687

 

43

Trip Network Inc.

15,007

19

Adobe Sites

26,445

 

44

WhitePages

14,915

20

Wal-Mart

25,930

 

45

Ticketmaster

14,900

21

AT&T, Inc.

25,920

 

46

ARTISTdirect Network

14,558

22

Lycos, Inc.

24,417

 

47

Sears Sites

14,196

23

Real.com Network

24,140

 

48

Infospace Network

14,112

24

Gorilla Nation Media

23,533

 

49

FACEBOOK.COM

14,069

25

Target Corporation

23,200

 

50

OVERSTOCK.COM

14,043

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

TABLE 5

Ad Focus Ranking May 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

172,120

100%

 

 

 

 

 

1

Advertising.com**

142,508

83%

 

26

Business.com Network

27,847

16%

2

Yahoo!

127,450

74%

 

27

WEATHER.COM

25,911

15%

3

ValueClick**

123,810

72%

 

28

Lycos Network

24,288

14%

4

AOL Media Network

112,176

65%

 

29

WebMD Health Network

24,231

14%

5

Tribal Fusion**

104,367

61%

 

30

CareerBuilder Network

23,174

13%

6

Casale Media Network**

102,911

60%

 

31

Disney Online

21,400

12%

7

MSN

100,660

58%

 

32

Vendare Media

20,725

12%

8

Google

99,743

58%

 

33

CNN

20,672

12%

9

Vendare Media - TrafficMarketplace**

97,441

57%

 

34

EXPEDIA.COM*

19,036

11%

10

AOL

86,794

50%

 

35

SuperPages Network

18,504

11%

11

YAHOO.COM Home Page

83,783

49%

 

36

IMDB.COM

18,295

11%

12

24/7 Real Media**

82,691

48%

 

37

REAL.COM*

17,767

10%

13

Burst Media**

76,213

44%

 

38

ESPN

16,175

9%

14

EBAY.COM

68,510

40%

 

39

Travelocity All

15,700

9%

15

Tremor Network

68,494

40%

 

40

WeatherBug

15,668

9%

16

DRIVEpm**

63,801

37%

 

41

MONSTER.COM*

15,599

9%

17

Gorilla Nation Media Network

60,089

35%

 

42

ORBITZ.COM

15,494

9%

18

Blue Lithium**

56,185

33%

 

43

iVillage.com: The Womens Network

15,194

9%

19

Ask Network

54,603

32%

 

44

CITYSEARCH.COM*

14,907

9%

20

MSN.COM Home Page

54,565

32%

 

45

WhitePages Network

14,870

9%

21

MYSPACE.COM

51,441

30%

 

46

Mamma Media Solutions**

14,833

9%

22

Vibrant Media**

40,762

24%

 

47

CLASSMATES.COM

14,792

9%

23

AdDynamix.com**

39,443

23%

 

48

ARTISTdirect Network

14,558

8%

24

EBAY.COM Home Page

39,095

23%

 

49

BIZRATE.COM

14,169

8%

25

ABOUT.COM

35,326

21%

 

50

WHITEPAGES.COM

13,821

8%

 


Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in May.  For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 74 percent of the more than 172 million Internet users in May. 

* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.

** Denotes an advertising network. 

 Source: Comscore
 

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