One in 10 Weblog Readers Personalizes Content with RSS Feeds, According to Nielsen//NetRatings

Blog Sites Grow 31 Percent since January 2005 to Capture Nearly 20 Percent of

Active Internet Users in July 2005



Aug 15, 2005, 01:00 ET from Nielsen//NetRatings

    NEW YORK, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nielsen//NetRatings, a global
 leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that 11 percent
 of Weblog readers, blog site visitors who claim to read blogs regularly or
 occasionally, use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to sort through the
 increasing number of blogs available (see Table 1). According to
 Nielsen//NetRatings' "Understanding the Blogosphere" survey, nearly five
 percent of blog readers use feed aggregation software and more than six
 percent use a feed aggregating Web site to monitor RSS feeds from blogs.
     "While RSS is an established technology, the growing popularity of blogs
 has catapulted RSS into the spotlight as a content personalization tool," said
 Jon Gibs, senior research manager, Nielsen//NetRatings.
     "RSS feeds deliver relevant posts quickly, in a customizable, easy to
 manage format. These types of services provide marketers with an additional
 avenue to tap a captive audience for time-critical offers. Since the customers
 themselves pick the content they will receive, advertisers are able to deliver
 their message within a context they know will engage their target audience,"
 he continued.
     The majority of respondents to the survey were less familiar with RSS
 feeds. Among the other respondents, 23 percent understood RSS but did not use
 it, while 66 percent either did not understand the technology or had never
 heard of it.
 
      Table 1: Use of RSS Feeds, June 2005
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Survey Response                                 Percent of Respondents
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      I use feed aggregation software to monitor
       RSS feeds for blogs                                              4.9%
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      I use a feed aggregating Web site to monitor
       RSS feeds for blogs                                              6.4%
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      I've heard of RSS and know what it does
       but don't use RSS feeds                                         23.0%
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      I've heard of RSS but don't know what it does                    15.7%
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      I've never heard of RSS before today                             50.0%
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
      Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Understanding the Blogosphere survey,
      August 2005
      Note: 1,000 online U.S. MegaPanelists responded to the survey fielded in
      June 2005
 
     New Kid on the Blog Leads Year-To-Date Growth
     The top 50 blogging and blog-related sites grew 31 percent to 29.3 million
 unique visitors during July 2005 as compared to the beginning of this year,
 comprising nearly 20 percent of active Internet users.
     Leading the way, MSN Spaces ranked No. 1 in year-to-date unique audience
 growth with a 947 percent increase by attracting nearly 3.3 million visitors
 in July, compared to more than 300,000 in January (see Table 2). Fark.com and
 Blogger ranked No. 2 and 3, with 63 percent and 45 percent unique audience
 growth, respectively.
     "While these sites will likely never have the traffic of some of the
 larger ad networks, blogs do have a specific role to play in the online
 advertising mix. Advertisers should look to blogs as a way to organically grow
 trends by leveraging the role of bloggers as peer influencers. By associating
 their message with the blog's image, advertisers can legitimize new trends
 they are hoping to promote to a niche audience," said Gibs.
 
      Table 2: Year-To-Date Fastest Growing Blog and Blog Hosting Sites (U.S.,
 Home and Work)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Site               Jan. 2005 Unique      July 2005 Unique      Growth
                           Audience (000)        Audience (000)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      1. MSN Spaces             311*                3,257             947%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      2. fark.com               488*                  795              63%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      3. Blogger               8,684               12,599              45%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      4. Xanga.com             4,810                6,862              43%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      5. Daily Kos              348*                 476*              37%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      6. The Smoking Gun       1,706                2,243              31%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      7. Gawker                 411*                 531*              29%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      8. TypePad               3,557                4,555              28%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      9. engadget               630*                  787              25%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      10. Boing Boing           506*                 605*              20%
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
      Source: Nielsen//NetRatings NetView, August 2005
      * This data falls below normal reporting levels, and therefore may have a
        higher probability of error.
 
     About Nielsen//NetRatings' "Understanding the Blogosphere" Survey
     The "Understanding the Blogosphere" survey was conducted in June 2005
 among 1,000 participants who had previously visited blog sites. A copy of the
 study findings is available to Nielsen//NetRatings subscribers via their
 client services representative.
 
     Nielsen//NetRatings reports July 2005 data for the Top Sites by Parent
 Company and Top Brands. In addition, Nielsen//NetRatings reveals the Top
 Advertisers by Company for July 2005.
 
      Nielsen//NetRatings Top 10 Web Sites by Parent Company and Top 10 Web
 Sites By Brand, July 2005
 
      Table 1. Top 10 Parent Companies,    Table 2. Top 10 Brands,
      Combined Home & Work                 Combined Home & Work
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Unique  Time Per                Unique      Time Per
                       Audience    Person              Audience        Person
      Parent              (000) (hh:mm:ss)  Brand         (000)     (hh:mm:ss)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      1. Microsoft      108,926   2:03:10   1. Yahoo!    98,485       3:13:25
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      2. Time Warner    101,607   5:15:32   2. Microsoft 92,457       0:42:32
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      3. Yahoo!          98,672   3:13:27   3. MSN       91,049       1:43:55
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      4. Google          77,739   0:41:35   4. Google    76,198       0:40:20
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      5. eBay            54,195   2:05:15   5. AOL       74,095       6:32:59
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      6. United States
         Government      52,069   0:28:08   6. eBay      51,122       2:04:49
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      7. InterActiveCorp 43,081   0:21:08   7. MapQuest  39,269       0:13:03
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      8. Amazon          40,556   0:24:31   8. Amazon    35,891       0:21:29
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      9. RealNetworks    36,630   0:49:00   9. Real      35,707       0:47:37
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      10. Walt Disney                       10. Weather
          Internet Group 33,511   0:38:55       Channel  31,508       0:30:41
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
     Example:  The data indicates that 33.5 million home and work Internet
 users visited at least one of the Walt Disney Internet Group-owned sites or
 launched a Walt Disney Internet Group-owned application during the month, and
 each person spent, on average, a total of 38 minutes and 55 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.
 Reach is a measure of the unduplicated audience that visits a property. The
 data is expressed as the percentage of the total universe of Internet users
 who logged onto the Internet at least once during the reporting period.
 
     Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance Top 10 Advertisers, July 2005
     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
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Total Estimated              Impressions
      Advertiser                        Spending                    (000)
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      1.  Apollo Group, Inc.          $  17,311,100               4,036,886
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      2.  Vonage Holdings Corp        $  16,384,400               3,603,453
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      3.  United Online, Inc.         $  15,622,500               4,460,343
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      4.  LowerMyBills.com, Inc.      $  14,646,800               3,586,189
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      5.  Netflix, Inc.               $   9,463,200               1,772,527
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      6.  Dell Computer Corporation   $   9,405,300               2,375,158
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      7.  Orbitz                      $   8,588,700               1,123,793
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      8.  Scottrade, Inc.             $   7,872,500               1,733,160
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      9.  Monster Worldwide, Inc.     $   7,246,100               1,561,976
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      10. General Motors Corporation  $   7,178,500               1,229,349
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
     Estimated spending reflects CPM-based advertising only, and excludes
 search-based advertising, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns,
 sponsorships, barters, partnership advertising, advertorials, promotions,
 email and direct response. Impressions reported exclude house ads, which are
 ads that run on an advertiser's own Web property.
 
     Example:  An estimated 1.2 billion General Motors Corporation ads were
 rendered for viewing at the cost of approximately $7.2 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 http://www.nielsen-netratings.com .
 
      NetRatings, Inc.                Suzy Bausch  (408) 941-2965
                                      Tracy Yen    (408) 941-2932
 
 

SOURCE Nielsen//NetRatings