Analysis of ComScore Stats for Top 20 Internet Sites--April (TWX, AAPL, GOOG, YHOO, MSFT)

by: Mark Mahaney

ComScore Media Metrix released its April 2006 U.S. Internet traffic data recently. In April, U.S. Internet users reached a record high 172MM, up 4.1%Y/Y and up 0.2% M/M. Below we track unique visitors for the top 20 U.S.Web properties. The following are several key points:

1. Yahoo! remained the #1 site in April in terms of monthly visitors and recorded 128MM visitors, up 10% Y/Y. For context, Yahoo!’s Y/Y user growth was higher than the market’s at 4.1% and its fastest rate in over a year. Specific Yahoo! properties that appear to be contributing to the recent very strong user growth include Yahoo! Video Search, Yahoo! Local, and Yahoo! Education. A positive Dpoint.

2. MSN-Microsoft jumped to the #2 spot with 120MM uniques, up 7.8% Y/Y. We note that MSN’sY/Ygrowth rate was the 5th lowest among the Top 20. However, MSN’s visitor growth rate was higher than the market’s for the first time in the past six months. A mixed Dpoint.

3. TimeWarner Network slipped to the #3 spot again with 119MM uniques, up 2.9% Y/Y. For context, TimeWarner’s growth rate has been lower than the market’s for each of the past eight months. A negative Dpoint.

4. Google was the #4 site and reached a record high 109MM visitors, up 38% Y/Y (4thhighest organic growth among the Top 20) and up 4.9% M/M. At this rate, Google may become the leading in terms of unique visitors by late 2006/early 2007, faster than we have heretofore estimated. Specific Google properties that appear to be contributing to the recent very strong user growth include Blogger, Gmail, and Google Image Search. There continues to be a lot of momentum here...a positive Dpoint.

5. Among the Top 20 properties, the companies with the highest Y/Y organic growth rates were Wikipedia Sites (292%), Apple Computer (81%), and TheWeather Channel (39%).