comScore Media Metrix Ranks Top 50 U.S. Web Properties for January 2011
Americans Flood Tax Sites as Season Begins
Travel and Careers in Focus at Start of New Year
RESTON, VA, February 21, 2011 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. web activity at the top online properties for January 2011 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service. Americans’ Web activity in January saw gains in a few main content categories: Taxes, Travel and Career Resources. Many Americans wasted no time in beginning their annual tax filing duties, as the number of visitors to Tax sites surged. Travel and careers were both major topics of Internet browsing in January, collectively accounting for seven of the top gaining categories for the month.
“The Internet has proven to be a great resource for Americans preparing to file their taxes, with many sites offering free filing assistance in some capacity,” said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “Also top-of-mind for many Americans this time of year is spring break travel and warmer getaways, which sent more than half of all Internet users to a travel site in January, marking the category’s highest reach on record.”
Read More: comScore
Mobile Social Gamers: The New Mass-Market Powerhouse
The Hardcore Gamer is so 2007
As the growth of iOS and Android mobile devices continues to explode, there is a tectonic shift in the landscape of video gaming, a medium that continues to reach the most powerful spenders in the economy. Not only are these emerging platforms attracting droves of existing gamers, but also spawning a new and highly engaged audience: the mass-market mobile casual gamer. The era of marketing singularly to the 18 – 34 hardcore male gamer is officially over.
Given the sheer size of the video game industry, this is a watershed moment. In January 2011, according to the NPD Group, 2010 worldwide video game revenue, excluding hardware, exceeded $15 billion. Strikingly, console game sales were down by 5% in 2010 over 2009. PC sales were up slightly by 3%, primarily due the release of the latest StarCraft installment by studio veteran Blizzard Entertainment. As Flurry described in its analysis last year, hardcore gaming is facing competition from more mass-market-friendly gaming apps on mobile devices. In particular, iOS is taking a bite out of portable platforms.
Read More: Flurry
Search + Social: A Growing Relationship
With the explosive growth of major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, marketers have gained a whole new range of channels from which to broadcast their messaging, engage with customers, and drive sales opportunities.
Businesses are quickly realizing that optimizing and leveraging these social channels are only going to grow as an integral part of their marketing efforts, in addition to their existing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
Businesses can’t afford to ignore social, namely because this is where consumers are spending most of their time. Recent research from Nielsen shows that more online users are spending their time on social media networks and blogs than on any other online channel — 25 percent of collective time spent online.
Search engines are recognizing this shift in user behavior, too, and reacting accordingly. Over the past year, there has been an increasing shift in the development of social features from both Google and Bing.
Read More: SearchEngineWatch
Ooyala And Yahoo Collaborate On Capturing Japan’s Online Video Market
Ooyala has struck a deal with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Japan as the online video platform and the portal looks to add more broadcasters, publishers, advertisers to their respective broadband offerings. One of the problems this collaboration aims to solve involves providing a single standard for online video that will scale across the country and eventually, the region.
In attempting to provide something seamless and simple for advertisers and publishers to get on board with, Ooyala will provide the video platform. In turn, Yahoo will provide the content to connected PCs, smartphones, tablets and televisions in the Japanese market. Yahoo Japan is charged selling the platform to clients, even though Ooyala already has an existing presence in Japan.
Read More: PaidContent
Ad Networks Beat Exchanges
But it depends what side you’re on. The conclusion of Zedo, which bills itself as a advertising technology for publishers, in a two part blog post that compares the two forms, is that ad nets are better for publishers, while agencies benefit from exchanges. For example, the typical scenario from an agency dealing with a network: “After reaching 3-5 ad network sales reps, the agency buyer has to sit and twiddle his thumbs. Finally, he gets two proposals, but then has to chase the third ad network for the last proposal.” And exchanges have certain advantages, such as immediacy in terms of going live with an ad – networks lag. The bottom line is that until one form can be made to serve both sellers and buyers equally well, there will continue to be tension in creating a holistic marketplace for online advertising.
Read More: AdExchanger
A simple guide to how ad exchanges work
More and more online display inventory is being purchased via ad exchanges than ever before. On these platforms, advertisers utilize technology to bid on each and every ad impression in a real-time marketplace based on the value they put on the viewer. For example, retargeting has become a popular tactic as advertisers are able to tag (and then buy ads exposed to) users who have already shown interest in them by visiting their site. This technique has proven to be very effective, with higher than normal click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
Currently, more than 400 billion global monthly impressions are up for bid to online marketers — that translates to about 150,000 ads each second during high internet traffic times!
Read More: iMedia Connection