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Americas Cup Rivals On The Water And The Web


Hitwise Press Release
For Immediate Release - 19th February 2003
New Zealand Monthly Online Trends - February 2003


Americas Cup Rivals on the water and the web

The long awaited America's Cup finals series finally took to the water this past weekend, with the battle for ratings mirroring the battle on the Hauraki Gulf. At this stage of the regatta, nzoom America's Cup (americascup.nzoom.com) has the edge on its competitors, treading water at position #82 in the Hitwise All Sites rankings. Keeping nzoom honest is the official America's Cup website (www.americascup.com), ranking at #150 and making inroads on its rival.

Traffic to these sites has been building steadily over the past month, with the disappointment at Team New Zealand’s defeats not mirrored online as both sites experienced minor increases in traffic over the first two days of the event. Of particular note is the amount of time browsers are spending at each site. While nzoom America’s Cup is holding attention for an average of just over three minutes, the official site is proving to have more staying power, with the average visit lasting six minutes.

The official Americas Cup website also appears to have the upper hand in terms of directing traffic to its sponsors and affiliated sites. 5.86% of downstream traffic from the site ventures to the fantasy sailing game Round the Mark (www.roundthemark.com). A further 2.17% visits the site of Txtstation International Limited (www.txtstation.com), whose site features prominently on the America's Cup site. Most visitors to the nzoom America's Cup site seem to prefer the nzoom network of sites, with over 30% of downstream traffic headed to one of nzoom's other news sites. The site is also directing 1.35% of its downstream traffic to the AmericasCupStore.com website, which features a range of official merchandise. This site is also benefiting from 1.08% of the downstream traffic from the official America's Cup site.

A closer examination of the Hitwise Sport - Yachting/Boating category reveals the category's focus on the America's Cup. Nine of the top 20 sites have an America's Cup focus, and claim just under 60% of traffic to this category. Many New Zealanders are paying attention to the Alinghi website (www.alinghi.com), currently ranked at #7. Team New Zealand's website (www.rnzys.org.nz) is still playing catch up in this category, sitting at a rank of 16.

The heightened interest in the America's Cup is also evident in overall category ratings, with a noticeable increase in traffic to the Hitwise Sports category over the past few weeks. Currently 3.31% of New Zealand web traffic is aimed at sports related sites, an increase of more than half a percent since the end of January. Within the Sports category, Yachting and Boating is outstripping most of its competition as it pulls back traditional category leader Soccer. Yachting and Boating is now within half a percent of Soccer's category share.

Fast mover

This month’s report is based on Hitwise data for the month of January 2003. Cadbury New Zealand www.cadbury.co.nz

Position last month – 877

Position this month – 220

Positions jumped – 657

A growing number of Internet surfers are tantalising their taste buds at the Cadbury New Zealand website. Traffic to the site grew by a massive 657 places in the past month, currently peaking at #220 in the Hitwise New Zealand rankings. Featuring information about a competition where users can win Ericsson mobile phones, and another where entrants attempt to win 'Towers of Cash', the site looks set to continue its move up the ranks.

News in brief

Kiwis trading up a storm

Recently launched classifieds portal Traderpoint (www.traderpoint.co.nz) has experienced huge popularity in recent weeks, due in part to a marketing campaign encompassing a range of media. Currently sitting at #10 in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category, the main Traderpoint site is joined in the rankings by AutoPoint (www.autopoint.co.nz), another website speeding up the lists. Autopoint has occupied the #1 slot in the Automotive - Classifieds category for some months, and the launch of Traderpoint has seen its category share increase from 33% in the middle of January to its current share of just over 35%.

Downstream traffic reports indicate that browsers are finding Traderpoint a useful portal to its range of sites, with almost 90% of traffic headed to other Traderpoint sites, including a massive 57% to ExchangePoint (www.exchangepoint.co.nz).

Shuttle tragedy highlighted

As news broke of the shuttle Columbia disaster New Zealanders went on the hunt for information. Traffic to the official NASA website (www.nasa.gov) peaked at an all-time high of 84 in the Hitwise All Sites category, and continued to perform strongly over the next few days. Another top performing site was the NASA Space Science division, with traffic reaching a position of #261 on February 2nd.

New Zealand web surfers demonstrated their awareness of International news sources, with traffic to CNN (www.cnn.com) and MSNBC (www.msnbc.com) peaking as Kiwis searched for news of the shuttle Columbia's demise. CNN's category share in the News and Media rankings tripled overnight, while traffic to MSNBC increased five fold. These increases in popularity saw a corresponding drop in traffic to sites such as the New Zealand Herald, although this traffic picked up in the days following the incident.

About Hitwise

Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service giving strategists, agencies and financial analysts real-time insights on the online competitive environment. Hitwise uses ISP user activity logs, behavioural monitoring networks and proprietary Internet trawling technologies to monitor the surfing habits of local Internet users, covering home, work and educational usage. Monitoring the largest sample of Internet users of its kind in the world, Hitwise provides daily insights all companies need to make timely and effective business decisions.

Hitwise is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and offers its service in New Zealand, Australia the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

ENDS


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