Counting Web Site Visitors Gets More Sophisticated

The proliferation of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has made life a bit trickier for advertisers to figure out just what they are receiving for their ad dollars. comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) today released a beta version of a consolidated U.S. audience measurement and media planning service the company calls the MediaMetrix Multi-Platform. The service offers an "unduplicated accounting of audience size and demographics that reflects today's multi-platform digital media environment, which includes websites, apps and video content accessed from multiple devices."

The new service increases the measured audience size "for media properties with a measurable mobile presence." comScore notes that under the new multi-platform counting method, there are now 10 properties that reached more than 100 million unique U.S. visitors in September, compared with just 6 under the previous method. And there are 410 properties that reached more than 5 million unique visitors in September under the new method, compared with 334 using the previous method.

Of a total of nearly 235 million unique visitors in September, only Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) topped 100 million unique visitors in both desktop and mobile visitors, with a total of 215 million. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) totaled 189 million visitors, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) totaled 179 million, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) totaled 171 million, and AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) totaled 136 million.

Only two properties that are not primarily web or media companies made the top 30: The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), ranked 27th and 28th, respectively. Disney had nearly 52 million unique visitors and Walmart had about 51.5 million.

Disney's totals reflect a split of about 3 to 1 in favor of desktop visitors, while Walmart's visits favor desktop views by slightly more than 2 to 1. The largest Internet retailer, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) sees a split of less than 2 to 1 in favor of desktop visits.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Internet Tagged: AMZN, AOL, DIS, FB, GOOG, MSFT, SCOR, WMT, YHOO
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