SOURCE: NetRatings, Inc.

July 10, 2007 09:00 ET

Nielsen//NetRatings Adds "Total Minutes" Metric to Syndicated Service as Best Measure of Online Engagement

AOL Media Network Has Most Engaged Users in May 2007

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that it added both "Total Minutes" and "Total Sessions" metrics to NetView, its syndicated Internet audience measurement service. While NetView has always reported average time per person and average number of sessions, the new metrics deliver greater perspective on total engagement across sites.

Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies like AJAX and streaming (both audio/video and other content like sports scoreboards and live stock quotes) have greatly enhanced the consumer experience, yet pose special challenges to Internet audience measurement. AJAX refreshes content without reloading entire Web pages and streaming provides dynamically changing content within a single page or a media player. While a page view metric under-credits such engagement, the total minutes metric provides a common denominator for user behavior that is independent of site design.

"'Total Minutes' is the best engagement metric in this initial stage of Web 2.0 development, not only because it ensures fair measurement of Web sites using RIA and streaming media, but also of Web environments that have never been well-served by the page view, such as online gaming and Internet applications," said Scott Ross, director, product marketing for the NetView service.

Nielsen//NetRatings data show that the difference between time spent and page view metrics varies by Web site category. Among search providers, the time spent and page view ratios are similar. For example, the ratio of total minutes spent on Google Search versus Yahoo! Search is 3.3 to 1 (see Table 1). Their page view ratio is 3.1 to 1.

Between social networking sites MySpace and YouTube, the time spent ratio is 3.6 to 1, but the ratio of page views is much larger, at 10.4 to 1. YouTube visitors spend more time per page than MySpace because they are primarily watching videos, requiring fewer page refreshes. While MySpace may be able to serve more ads because of its number of page refreshes, the time spent ratio is an important comparison of audience engagement on the two sites.

Table 1: Time vs. Page View Ratio for May 2007 (U.S., Home and Work)

Site(s)                  Total Minutes    Web Page Views    Seconds per
                                 (mil)             (mil)           page
Google Search                    2,557             7,623             20
Yahoo! Search                      764             2,451             19
Google Search/
Yahoo! Search Ratio           3.3 to 1          3.1 to 1             NA
Myspace.com                      7,535            28,672             16
YouTube                          2,117             2,762             46
Myspace.com/
YouTube Ratio                 3.6 to 1         10.4 to 1             NA

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, July 2007
Most Engaging Web Brands

The top 10 Web brands ranked by total minutes in May were led by AOL Media Network, Yahoo!, and MSN/Windows Live. The majority of time spent at these properties was driven by their instant messaging applications and E-mail sites, which accounted for 63, 54, and 47 percent of their total minutes, respectively. Fox Interactive Media, Google, eBay, and YouTube performed strongly based on their loyal and engaged site audiences, while Microsoft and Apple benefited from popular multimedia applications, specifically Windows Media Player and iTunes. EA - Electronic Arts Online was the only Web brand to break into the top 10 when ranked by total minutes rather than unique audience, primarily driven by the very high time per person found on its Pogo.com gaming site.

Table 2: Top 10 Web Brands ranked by Total Minutes for May 2007
(U.S., Home and Work)

Brand                  Total Minutes (bil)     Unique Audience (mil)
AOL Media Network            25.0                     91.6
Yahoo!                       19.6                    107.6
MSN/Windows Live             10.6                     95.9
Fox Interactive Media         7.8                     64.1
Google                        7.4                    110.2
eBay                          6.1                     60.2
Microsoft                     3.7                     94.4
EA - Electronic
Arts Online                   3.5                      8.7
Apple                         2.8                     45.0
YouTube                       2.1                     48.2

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, July 2007
About Nielsen//NetRatings

NetRatings, Inc. 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

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    Suzy Bausch
    (408) 941-2965