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Kiwis Join Rush To Florida Cliffhanger

It’s not just Americans who are hungry for online updates

Auckland – 10 November 2000 – The tension of the nail biter American presidential race is pulling big numbers of New Zealanders as well as Americans to the web for updates, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

As indecision ruled in Florida, Nielsen/NetRatings recorded a 300 per cent jump among at-home New Zealand web surfers visiting news sites in the days either side of the presidential poll.

Already the prolonged agony of the result has been hailed as creating the biggest day ever in web history in the United States.

“It is hardly surprising that we have seen a huge surge in American numbers visiting news sites, but these figures show just how much interest there is in the race among New Zealanders as well,“ said Brian Milnes, ACNielsen eRatings.com Managing Director Pacific.

“New Zealanders are keen to keep up. I think we are seeing maturity in seeking information, where people have got used to using the web to complement and update what is available elsewhere.“

Selecting seven sites: cnn.com, dailynews.yahoo.com, msnbc.com/news, politics/slate/msn.com, nzherald.co.nz, nzoom.com, and stuff.co.nz, Neilsen//NetRatings tracked the difference in unique visitors and page views in the periods October 30-November 2, and November 6-November10.

“There was a leap of 58% in the numbers of unique New Zealand visitors and a bigger jump in the numbers of page views, between the two time periods, “ Milnes said.

“Over the three day period, 6 November to 8 November (US Election day local time) unique home based New Zealand audiences to the seven selected sites increased by 300% overall. The New Zealand audience to these sites was an interesting mix ”, Milnes said. “Males dominated at 82% of the total and the 35 – 49 year age group was the most significant.”

“The interest shows just how powerful the web is becoming, and how ready New Zealanders are to use it for major events”

Meanwhile, web-based interest in the race has not abated in the United States.

Allen Weiner, vice president of analytic services at Nielsen//NetRatings, said Tuesday’s election was the biggest day in US web history for news and information sites with browser refresher buttons being clicked as much as TV remote controls.

“The web has excelled in a number of areas,” Weiner said. “Not only have the top news and information sites kept their fingers on the pulse of the state-by-state, play-by-play action of the electoral college battle, most have also drilled down into local races and issues of interest, such as ballot propositions and measures. In this way, the web has become an ideal companion to television with TV providing a running commentary.”

“Uniformly, the online news and information sites that worked with print or broadcast channels have done a superb job of leading surfers back and forth between the web and the other mediums.”

Interestingly, Nielsen//NetRatings data shows neither of the two Presidential candidates used the web to great effect in the lead up to the election.

“If Al Gore was the inventor of the Internet, as he has been known to say, it is most interesting to witness his campaign’s relatively conservative use of it,” said Weiner. “George W Bush’s campaign site had larger and more sustainable traffic in recent months, but neither candidate used the web as strongly as possible for either information or advertising.”

Table: Leading news & information sites accessed from home by US surfers during the US Presidential Election
Rank Web site
– Page Level URL Unique Audience: Nov 6 (24 hours before Election) Unique Audience: Nov 7 Election Day Change
1 abcnews.go.com/sections/politics 155,509 538,331 366%
2 foxnews.com/elections 77,085 249,423 224%
3 yahoo.com/election2000 51,245 234,309 357%
4 nytimes.com/pages/politics NA 110,308 NA
5 usatoday.com/news/politcs NA 83,789 NA

ENDS

About Nielsen//NetRatings
Nielsen//NetRatings, the audience measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc. collects real-time data from more than 70,000 panel members in the United States. The U.S. panel sample consists of 62,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users. These panels collectively represent the largest representative media research sample of Internet users in the industry. Worldwide, Nielsen//NetRatings services are provided via a partnership with ACNielsen eRatings.com, a venture between ACNielsen and NetRatings, Inc. and measure the Internet experiences of more than 200,000 Internet users.

Nielsen//NetRatings services use unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings services leverage proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in supplying market research information covering more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.


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