Nielsen//NetRatings launches global Internet index

ACNielsen launches a global internet index to measure the popularity of global portals. Read on more to find out which portal attracts the largest unique crowd and which portal gets the most repeat visits.

ACNielsen's sample survey reveals that Yahoo! tops the world's global portal industry.

CONNECTICUT Nielsen//NetRatings, an Internet audience measurement service in the industry, today released the premiere results of its global Internet index, showing that in June, Yahoo! leapt out as the leading global property, with prominence in many countries exceeding that of other global and local players alike.

Nielsen//NetRatings is a service provided by ACNielsen eRatings.com (a venture between ACNielsen Corp., NYSE: ART and NetRatings, Inc., Nasdaq: NTRT), Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc.

The Nielsen//NetRatings global Internet index provides results across the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Ireland and Singapore, measuring two-thirds of the global Internet population and representing a large Internet sample in the world in terms of countries covered, panelists monitored, and total Internet users represented. June figures showed that more than 207 million people across those eight countries had Internet access, with more than half of those people, or 117 million, actively using the Internet during the month.

“The Internet is the first truly global medium,” said Michael P. Connors, vice chairman of ACNielsen. “Nielsen//NetRatings’ unmatched global reach is the most effective way to measure how Internet audiences surf across national borders, giving advertising agencies, Internet marketers and corporations the most accurate gauge of global Internet audience, advertising and usage activity. The Nielsen//NetRatings global Internet index measures more people across more countries, providing more accurate data than any other service in the industry.”

Yahoo! registered the highest unique audience and the most page views for the month of June, showing a relatively high percentage of repeat visits (see Table 1), while eBay registered highest in terms of pages viewed per person and time spent per person. Notably, iWon.com ranked 36th in terms of unique audience for the month of June, but ranked second only to eBay in terms of the average time spent per person on the site, with the average visitor staying on iWon.com for one hour and six minutes.

“The auction content of eBay is clearly successful in drawing visitors to the site, and just as importantly, keeping surfers on the site for an incredible average of one hour and 42 minutes,” said Sean Kaldor, vice president of E-Commerce, NetRatings. “While on eBay, visitors are viewing 256 pages per person, which shows that the audience is drilling down deep into the site and gaining exposure to a considerable amount of content and advertising. Similarly, visitors to iWon.com win points towards regular prize drawings by clicking on specially marked links. With an average time spent on the site of one hour and six minutes, iWon.com’s surfers are making sure to leverage the site’s content and accumulate sweepstakes points.”

Kaldor also noted that the move to E-Commerce is being felt around the world. For example, an impressive 12% of the world's active home Internet users in June 2000 visited Amazon.com or its presence in numerous local countries globally.

Table 1. Top 25 Web Sites by Property, At-Home, June 2000

Rank By Unique Audience

Property

Unique Audience

Reach % (Active)

1

Yahoo!

62,772,590

54%

2

AOL Websites

57,243,240

49%

3

MSN

47,790,317

41%

4

Microsoft

39,668,640

34%

5

Lycos

31,161,092

27%

6

Excite@Home

27,502,376

24%

7

GO Network

22,916,897

20%

8

AltaVista

16,246,444

14%

9

NBC Internet

15,007,333

13%

10

About.com

14,690,343

13%

11

Time Warner

14,312,818

12%

12

Amazon

13,527,874

12%

13

eUniverse Network

11,010,023

9%

14

Real Networks

10,663,603

9%

15

eBay

10,460,407

9%

16

Go2Net

10,391,977

9%

17

Ask Jeeves

10,378,394

9%

18

Macromedia

10,235,343

9%

19

LookSmart

9,871,946

8%

20

Fortune City

8,645,319

7%

21

CNET Networks

8,559,120

7%

22

Viacom International

8,429,782

7%

23

American Greetings

8,099,889

7%

24

ZDNet

8,069,426

7%

25

Sony Online

7,796,480

7%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, June 2000

The international dominance of Yahoo! reflects the preeminence of global search engines and portals in multinational surfing activity. During the month of June, nearly 90 percent of the active Internet universe, or 102 million people, visited search engines and portals, with an average time per person of just over nine minutes (see Table 2). The second most popular category in June was telecom and Internet services, which attracted 65 percent of the active Internet universe, or 74 million individuals, who spent an average of six minutes and 36 seconds in that category.

However, Kaldor noted that the finance / insurance / investment and online community categories were by far the 'stickiest' categories globally. “As people seek out others with a common interest and take advantage of the Internet's unprecedented financial services capabilities, these areas experience average usage times nearly twice that of areas like travel, classifieds, education, and others,” he said.

Table 2. Activity by Category, At-Home, June 2000

Ranking of Internet usage by category across the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Ireland and Singapore

Category

Unique Audience

Reach % (Active)

Search Engines/Portals

102,201,480

89.33

Telecom/Internet Services

74,311,191

64.95

Entertainment

59,839,149

52.30

Personal/Business Elec. & S/W

53,893,623

47.10

News & Information

52,968,762

46.30

Shopping

48,838,764

42.69

Online Communities

48,740,761

42.60

Directories/Classifieds

36,310,645

31.74

Finance/Insurance/ Investment

30,469,864

26.63

Family & Lifestyles

28,872,064

25.23

Corporate Information

26,767,290

23.40

Adult

25,086,742

21.93

Travel

24,396,077

21.32

Sweepstakes/Coupons

24,282,687

21.22

Education

22,038,889

19.26

Government/Non-Profit

20,268,333

17.72

Sports

14,895,254

13.02

Automotive

11,319,074

9.89

Health & Fitness

211,092

0.18

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, June 2000

Nielsen//NetRatings is the world’s largest Internet measurement service, with more than 150,000 individuals participating in panels across eight of the world’s major Internet markets. Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science for ACNielsen eRatings.com, noted that the depth of the service’s panels and its unmatched global footprint allow Nielsen//NetRatings to report the most accurate data available in the industry. “With our service using globally consistent sampling methodology, metering technology and web-based reporting, we can provide a unique and truly global picture of Internet activity worldwide,” he said.

The June numbers showed a current Internet universe estimate of 207 million individuals at-home, of which approximately 56 percent, or 117 million, were active during the month of June (see Table 3). June saw a slight decline in average page views per month and per surfing session from May, a trend probably linked to the beginning of the summer holiday season in most markets.

Table 3. Average Usage, At-Home, June 2000

Ranking of average Internet usage across the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Ireland and Singapore

 

June 2000

May 2000

% Change

Number of Sessions per Month

17

17

-1.12

Number of Unique Sites Visited

11

11

-0.71

Page Views per Month

637

742

-14.07

Page Views per Surfing Session

38

43

-12.05

Time Spent per Month

8:30:33

8:36:14

-1.10

Time Spent During Surfing Session

0:30:14

0:29:34

2.28

Duration of a Page viewed

0:00:49

0:00:47

4.54

Average Click Rate for Top Banners

0.52

0.88

-40.62

Total Internet Audience Sample

107,490

105,486

1.90

Active Internet Universe

116,734,979

115,448,656

1.11

Current Internet Universe Estimate

207,211,099

203,775,960

1.69

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, June 2000

About Nielsen//NetRatings

Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 150,000 Internet users around the world. The U.S. panel sample currently consists of 57,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users. International panels are under development with over 85,000 at-home users currently being measured. These panels collectively represent the largest media research sample of Internet users in the industry.

Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings tracks the entire spectrum of Internet user behavior, leveraging proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in offering market research information covering more than 100 countries.

About ACNielsen eRatings.com

ACNielsen eRatings.com is a venture between ACNielsen (NYSE: ART) and NetRatings Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT). ACNielsen is the world's leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics, consumer attitudes and behavior, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries, and NetRatings is the leading provider of Internet audience measurement technology and analysis. Through the Nielsen//NetRatings service, ACNielsen eRatings.com is creating the first global service for tracking audiences, advertising and user activity on the Internet in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About NetRatings, Inc.

NetRatings (Nasdaq: NTRT) provides Internet audience measurement and analysis services that enable its customers to make informed decisions regarding their Internet strategies. NetRatings delivers accurate and timely information collected from a representative sample of Internet users and augments it with detailed, flexible reporting and in-depth analyses.

Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements contained herein are forward looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "could," "should," "plan," "estimated," "potential," "target," "aim" and "goal," among others. In connection with the "safe-harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, ACNielsen and NetRatings are hereby identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made regarding the venture. Any such statement is qualified by reference to the following cautionary statement.

Risks and uncertainties that may affect the operations, performance, development and results of the venture's business include: (i) the likely incurrence of significant losses by the venture while its business is being developed and the difficulty of forecasting future revenues and costs;(ii) the risk that a competing company's Internet audience measurement service will become the accepted standard for Internet audience measurement; (iii) the ability to successfully develop, promote and maintain the Nielsen//NetRatings brand; (iv) the effects on demand for the venture's products and services if the use of the Internet does not continue to grow; (v) the effect that governmental regulation of the Internet could have on the growth of the Internet; (vi) the ability to successfully respond to rapid technological change, including the uncertainties surrounding the emergence of new Internet access devices; (vii) the risks associated with international development of the Internet ratings service, including effecting necessary changes to the existing software to accommodate language and other differences in the jurisdictions in which the venture will operate and the effect of laws and regulatory requirements in such jurisdictions; (viii) the risks involved in collecting personal information from panelists, including the effect of privacy laws in the jurisdictions in which the venture will operate; (ix) the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations since so much of the venture's earnings will be generated abroad; (x) the risk of technical difficulties or service interruptions and the lack of a backup facility in the event of a systems failure at NetRatings' computer operations center in San Jose, California; and (xi) the uncertainties of litigation, including the IRI lawsuit against ACNielsen; as well as other risks and uncertainties that may be detailed from time to time in the Securities and Exchange Commission filings of the venture partners.

Developments in any of the areas referred to above could cause the results of the venture to differ from projected results. ACNielsen and NetRatings caution that the foregoing list of important factors is not exclusive and they do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time regarding the venture.