SOURCE: NetRatings, Inc.

March 13, 2007 09:00 ET

More Than One Third of U.S. Adults Online Own a Game Console, According to Nielsen//NetRatings

Nintendo.com Benefits From Wii's Popularity -- Site Grows 91 Percent Year Over Year

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 13, 2007 -- Nielsen//NetRatings (NASDAQ: NTRT), a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that more than one third of U.S. adults online, 36.5 percent, own a game console, and 15.9 percent own a portable game console, according to @Plan's Spring 2007 Release. Not just for kids anymore, game consoles are becoming an integral part of America's home entertainment systems. The majority of console owners, 71 percent, are married, and 66 percent have at least one child in the household. With the advent of video game ratings determined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), home video games can now cater to the entire family.

"As game consoles have become increasingly sophisticated, families have incorporated them into their centralized home media centers, which include the television, digital recording device, digital music player, and the PC," said Carolyn Creekmore, senior director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Video game technology will only benefit other media, since what makes a video game fun and exciting brings life to movies and music as well. Companies that can leverage these new technologies across a number of products will have a distinct advantage in the competitive marketplace."

Online Retail Favorites among Game Console Owners

Among retail Web sites, Best Buy's video game site has the highest concentration of game console owners, who comprise 90 percent of the site's audience. Amazon's video game site and Gamestop.com rank a close second and third, with console owners comprising 89 and 88 percent of their unique visitors, respectively.

Game Console Web Sites

Among the most popular game console providers, Nintendo has enjoyed the fastest Web traffic growth over the past year with the much-anticipated release of Wii. Unique visitors to Nintendo.com increased 91 percent, from 856,000 in February 2006 to 1.6 million in February 2007. Xbox.com also saw significant year-over-year growth in February, increasing 47 percent from a unique audience of 827,000 to 1.2 million. Traffic to Playstation.com dropped 8 percent in the same period, from 1.1 million to 1.0 million unique visitors.

Table 1: Video Game Console Providers ranked by Year-Over-Year Web Traffic
Growth (U.S., Home and Work)

Site             Feb-06 UA (000)      Feb-07 UA (000)      YOY Growth
Nintendo                    856                1,631             91%
XBOX                        827                1,218             47%
Playstation               1,105                1,016             -8%

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, March 2007
Personal Interests among Console Owners

Besides playing video games, the highest indexing personal interests among console owners are attending theme parks, collecting comic books, and collecting dolls and other figurines. The highest indexing vacation activities in this group are theme parks, water sports, and major sporting events.

Table 2: Highest Indexing Personal Interests and Vacation Activities among
Console Owners (U.S.)

Personal Interest                  Composition Index
Theme Parks                        178
Comic Book Collecting              171
Collecting Dolls/Figurines/Toys    137

Vacation Activity                  Composition Index
Theme Parks                        152
Water Sports                       144
Major Sporting Event               140

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings @Plan, Spring 2007 Release

Note: An average composition index is 100. Anything above 100 means a group
is overrepresented for this profile point. For example, console owners are
78 percent more likely to have an interest in theme parks than the average
Web user.
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Nielsen//NetRatings reports February 2007 data for the Top Sites by Parent Company and Top Brands. In addition, Nielsen//NetRatings reveals the Top Advertisers by Company for February 2007.

Nielsen//NetRatings Top 10 Web Sites by Parent Company and Top 10 Web Sites By Brand, February 2007

Table 1. Top 10 Parent Companies,
Combined Home & Work

                             Unique       Time Per
                             Audience      Person
Parent                         (000)     (hh:mm:ss)
1.   Microsoft               116,381      2:06:27
2.   Google                  110,041      1:20:37
3.   Yahoo!                  107,995      3:01:09
4.   Time Warner             101,722      4:27:45
5.   News Corp. Online        68,535      1:44:12
6.   eBay                     66,597      1:41:39
7.   InterActiveCorp          58,004      0:26:13
8.   Amazon                   48,307      0:22:36
9.   Landmark Communications  44,408      0:41:51
10.  Wikimedia Foundation     42,432      0:15:57


Table 2. Top 10 Brands,
Combined Home & Work

                             Unique       Time Per
                             Audience      Person
Brand                          (000)     (hh:mm:ss)
1.   Yahoo!                  107,230      3:01:46
2.   Google                  105,270      1:04:39
3.   Microsoft                94,386      0:41:00
4.   MSN/Windows Live         92,820      1:56:45
5.   AOL Media Network        89,391      4:45:25
6.   Fox Interactive Media    60,565      1:50:28
7.   eBay                     59,426      1:41:35
8.   Wikipedia                42,309      0:15:49
9.   YouTube                  42,116      0:40:44
10.  Apple                    41,850      1:08:47
Example: The data indicates that 42.4 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the Wikimedia Foundation-owned sites or launched a Wikimedia Foundation-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 15 minutes and 57 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.

A parent company is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs owned by a single entity. A brand is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs that has a consistent collection of branded content.

Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance Top 10 Advertisers, February 2007

Top advertisers, ranked by estimated spending, are based on data from AdRelevance, Nielsen//NetRatings' advertising research service. An impression is counted as the number of times an ad is rendered for viewing.

Top 10 Advertisers by Estimated Spending

Advertiser                           Total Estimated     Impressions
                                     Spending                 (000)
1.   Experian Group Limited          $96,354,500         40,482,753
2.   NexTag, Inc.                    $37,733,500         20,272,086
3.   Netflix, Inc.                   $28,160,900          5,725,027
4.   Low Rate Source                 $25,223,700          9,248,359
5.   AT&T Corp.                      $21,008,100          6,486,238
6.   Monster Worldwide, Inc.         $20,394,800          4,342,488
7.   Vonage Holdings Corp.           $19,049,700          4,604,326
8.   Verizon Communications, Inc.    $15,652,100          4,004,885
9.   HSBC Holdings plc               $13,304,700          6,786,374
10.  United Online, Inc.             $11,113,300          2,854,410
Estimated spending reflects CPM-based advertising online, and excludes search-based advertising, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, partnership advertising, advertorials, promotions and e-mail. Impressions reported exclude house ads, which are ads that run on an advertiser's own or related property and co-branding relationships.

Example: An estimated 2.9 billion United Online, Inc. ads were rendered for viewing at the cost of approximately $11.1 million during the surfing period.

About Nielsen//NetRatings

NetRatings, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRT) delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.

Editor's Note: Please source all data to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Contact Information

  • NetRatings, Inc.
    Suzy Bausch
    (408) 941-2965