updated 12:50 pm EST, Wed January 31, 2007
Apple Web, iTunes traffic
Traffic to Apple's website and the popularity of iTunes continues to surge at a rate greater than many of other top internet companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, according to new statistics released on Wednesday. Apple's December Web traffic soared 32 percent -- from just over 84 million unique visitors in December 2005 to a little more than 111.1 million uniques in December 2006, according to comScore Networks. Apple's ranking on comScore's list jumped two spots from no. 13 in November to no. 11 in December. The figures for Apple properties included traffic generated by its iTunes desktop application, which connects via the Web to Apple servers. During December, comScore said that iTunes received 70.7 million unique users, a 57 percent increase from December 2005 (45 million users).
Overall worldwide internet usage only increased 10 percent to 741 million during the same period, confirming a surging interest in Apple as well as both of its Mac and iPod products. In November, Apple properties received 33.7 million unique visitors, a 21 percent increase in visitors over the same period last year.
Microsoft's properties were the most popular with nearly 509 million uniques, while Google and Yahoo! were no. 2 and 3, respectively (494 million and 476 million unique visitors during December 2006). The stats included traffic from both home and work locations for users above the age of 15.
As with the previous month, Apple's website in December received more traffic than any other computer electronics company or personal computer manufacturer, however, after the top 3 there was a precipitous drop-off. AOL/Time Warner only saw about 260 million visitors during the month, according to the reported numbers. Other companies in the top 10 included eBay, Wikipedia, Amazon, Fox, CNET, and Ask.
The Search/Navigation category, which includes the three sites that draw the largest worldwide audiences, grew 9 percent led by Google, which rose 13 percent -- more than double the 5 percent growth of Microsoft and Yahoo properties.
"Google's popularity has been driven in part by its international appeal as well as the rapid uptake of some of Google's applications beyond traditional Web search," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe. "Examples include the 40-percent year-over-year growth in visitors to Google Image Search, the 71-percent growth in visitors to Gmail, and the 62-percent growth in visitors to Google Maps."
Last year, market analysis firm comScore Networks found steady iTunes growth, contradicting other reports alleging an iTunes sales collapse. The report found that revenue from Apple's iTunes Store rose by 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 versus the same period one year ago. That included a 67 percent increase in the number of iTunes buying transactions and a 10 percent increase in the dollars spent per transaction.