Local Information Sources Meet Nationwide Demand for Hurricane Katrina Information

RESTON, VA, September 19, 2005 – Americans seeking online news and information about Hurricane Katrina went straight to the source, dramatically increasing visitation to New Orleans’ local media outlets in August, according to the monthly analysis of online activity released today by Comscore Media Metrix.

NOLA.com, the Web home of the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper owned by Advance Publications, saw its traffic increase by 277 percent from July to 1.7 million visitors in August. Meanwhile, New Orleans’ CBS affiliate WWL-TV, owned by Belo Corporation, saw visitation to its site, WWLTV.com, increase by 258 percent to 878,000 for the month.

“Sites with specific local content rarely see this kind of growth, but the Internet allowed the entire nation to access information straight from the epicenter of the disaster,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “This pattern underscores the continuing concern and support that all Americans have expressed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”

During August 2005, more than 39 percent of NOLA.com’s 1.7 million visitors came from the South Central regions, which contain eight states including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This means that well over half of the remaining traffic to NOLA.com originated in other parts of the country safely located outside the storm’s path. The Pacific region accounted for 10 percent of NOLA.com visitors, while the upper Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin collectively contributed 11 percent of the site’s audience.

Around The Web
Back To School, Back To The Web – Three of the top ten gaining categories in August were related to career and education information as students returned to school during the month. Career Services & Development - Education & Training was the highest gaining category in August, up 17 percent from July to 8.8 million visitors. Overall, more than 84 million people visited sites in the Education category in August, up 9 percent from July. Standout sites within these categories include CollegeBoard.com (2 million visitors, 23 percent gain), FastWeb (1.9 million visitors, 19 percent gain), and GreatSchools.net (3.2 million visitors, 67 percent gain).

Football Season Tackles Web Audience – The kickoff of both college and professional football seasons in August was reflected in Web traffic, helping the Sports category climb 6 percent to reach 60.9 million visitors. As fans prepared for the season by viewing fantasy football information and team schedules, the NFL Internet Group posted a 74-percent gain in visitation to reach 12.6 million visitors online, making it the Internet’s top-gaining property in August. College gridiron enthusiasts sought news on their favorite teams as well as merchandise at sites including College Sports TV, which saw traffic increase by more than 40 percent over July with 5.3 million August visitors.

Wireless Wonders - The recently combined Sprint Nextel Corporation made a splash in its monthly debut as a combined property by welcoming 13.8 million visitors in August, following the completion of a merger that brought together two of the nation’s telecommunications giants. One of its top competitors, Cingular Wireless, made its own waves by offering free phones to new service plan subscribers. Thanks in major part to this promotion, Cingular’s parent company AT&T Properties received 25.3 million visitors, a 27-percent gain over July.

Movers and Shakers
McAfee.com Sites – The provider of anti-virus software was a popular online destination as the Zotob and Mytob worms rattled the Internet community. McAfee saw its visitation increase by 40 percent in August to 4.9 million visitors.

ImageShack.us – This service that provides images for blogs, message boards, and photo sharing was visited by 5.1 million Americans in August, up 36 percent from July. ImageShack is popular among the growing crowd of MySpace users. In August, 1.8 million visitors came to ImageShack from MySpace.

United Airlines – The world’s second-largest air carrier saw a 17-percent ascent in August to reach 6.6 million visitors. Consumers were drawn to United’s “Fall Sale” featuring reduced airfares to many destinations, including Cancun, Mexico.

Staples.com Sites – A new-look website and the back-to-school shopping crush helped this office retailer crack the top ten gaining properties. Staples.com Sites were visited by 6 million consumers in August, a 17-percent increase over July.

TABLE 1

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
August 2005 vs. July 2005
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Property July-05 (000) Aug-05 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Population 167,444 168,482 1% N/A
NFL Internet Group 7,224 12,562 74% 104
McAfee.com Sites 3,536 4,942 40% 225
CSTV: College Sports TV 3,777 5,277 40% 204
ImageShack.us 3,717 5,070 36% 213
Advance Publications, Inc. 4,837 6,454 33% 164
AT&T Properties 19,881 25,331 27% 25
Belo 3,196 4,068 27% 248
Providian Financial 4,330 5,203  20% 181
Staples.com Sites 5,105 5,978 17% 151
United Airlines 5,641 6,582 17% 136

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in August 2005

TABLE 2
 

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
August 2005 vs. July 2005
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
  July-05 (000) Aug-05 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet Population 167,444 168,482 1%

Career Services and Development –

Training and Education

7,477 8,756 17%
Hobbies & Lifestyles – Food 10,410 12,003 15%
Education 77,109 84,208 9%
Retail – Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories 11,746 12,764 9%
Retail – Sports/Outdoor 21,180 22,986 9%
Directories/Resources – Reference 58,313 62,694 8%
Auctions 64,416 68,911 7%

Career Services and Development –

Career Resources

30,815 32,909 7%
Retail – Health Care 18,741 19,914 6%
Sports 57,362 60,917 6%

TABLE 3

Top 50 Properties
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)
  Total Internet Users 168,482        
1 Yahoo! Sites 121,962   26 Gorilla Nation Media 20,778
2 Time Warner Network 118,911   27 Gannett Sites 19,988
3 MSN-Microsoft Sites 114,622   28 Bank of America 19,768
4 Google Sites 85,658   29 Apple Computer, Inc. 18,141
5 eBay 66,693   30 Weatherbug Property 17,998
6 Amazon Sites 42,906   31 OVERSTOCK.COM 17,807
7 Ask Jeeves 40,084   32 Infospace Network 17,182
8 Viacom Online 39,809   33 Comcast Corporation 16,740
9 United Online, Inc 33,448   34 Shopzilla.com Sites 16,681
10 Verizon Communications Corporation 32,968   35 ESPN 16,633
11 Expedia, Inc. 32,479   36 E.W. Scripps 15,468
12 New York Times Digital 31,977   37 Earthlink 15,361
13 CNET Networks 30,813   38 ORBITZ.COM 15,309
14 Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) 30,760   39 Dell 15,033
15 Vendare Media 30,224   40 CareerBuilder LLC 14,666
16 Monster Worldwide 29,736   41 Cox Enterprises Inc. 14,513
17 Weather Channel, The 27,136   42 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 14,329
18 Lycos, Inc. 26,297   43 Ticketmaster 14,043
19 AT&T Properties 25,331   44 Sprint Nextel Corporation 13,756
20 Wal-Mart 22,767   45 Capital One 13,629
21 Target Corporation 22,000   46 Sony Online 13,565
22 MYSPACE.COM 21,819   47 Adobe Sites 13,519
23 Shopping.com Sites 21,645   48 Sears Sites 13,392
24 Real.com Network 21,464   49 Travelocity 13,152
25 Trip Network Inc. 20,798   50 JPMorgan Chase Property 13,060

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
August 2005
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 168,482 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 136,249 81%   26 Lycos Network 26,212 16%
2 Yahoo! 119,379 71%   27 WEATHER.COM 25,388 15%
3 Fastclick** 117,337 70%   28 CNN 23,084 14%
4 AOL Media Network 112,372 67%   29 MYSPACE.COM 21,819 13%
5 MSN 99,782 59%   30 CLASSMATES.COM 21,358 13%
6 AOL 88,153 52%   31 Disney Online 19,311 11%
7 Vendare Media - TrafficMarketplace** 83,794 50%   32 WeatherBug 17,674 10%
8 GOOGLE.COM* 82,564 49%   33 SuperPages Network 17,310 10%
9 Casale Media Network** 77,545 46%   34 CareerBuilder Network 17,094 10%
10 YAHOO.COM Home Page 77,415 46%   35 ESPN 16,633 10%
11 Tribal Fusion** 76,427 45%   36 REAL.COM 16,317 10%
12 AdDynamix.com** 73,552 44%   37 CHEAPTICKETS.COM 15,726 9%
13 ValueClick Media** 64,068 38%   38 MONSTER.COM 15,528 9%
14 EBAY.COM 62,728 37%   39 Travelocity All 15,439 9%
15 24/7 Real Media** 60,308 36%   40 ORBITZ.COM 15,309 9%
16 Gorilla Nation Media Network 58,075 34%   41 WebMD Health Network 15,202 9%
17 MSN.COM Home Page 53,946 32%   42 MaxOnline** 15,085 9%
18 BURST! Media** 53,691 32%   43 CNET 14,661 9%
19 Ask Jeeves 40,084 24%   44 COOLSAVINGS.COM Total Activity 14,482 9%
20 EBAY.COM Home Page 39,560 23%   45 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 14,329 9%
21 Expedia 32,479 19%   46 IMDB.COM 13,200 8%
22 Business.com Network 30,905 18%   47 Netscape 12,815 8%
23 Vendare Media 30,224 18%   48 WhitePages Network 12,814 8%
24 MSNBC 28,513 17%   49 TICKETMASTER.COM 12,710 8%
25 ABOUT.COM 26,811 16%   50 FOX Sports on MSN 12,647 8%

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that views a particular entity at least once in July. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 71 percent of the over 168 million Internet users in August. The notation “**”indicates that the entity is an advertising network.

About Comscore Media Metrix
Comscore Media Metrix, a division of Comscore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report – with unmatched accuracy – 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 continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings – long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers – while drawing upon Comscore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

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. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

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