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Hitwise UK Online

Media Round-up

February 2009
The UK is all a Twitter

Robin Goad
Research Director, Hitwise UK

Lindsay O’Gorman
Marketing Executive, Hitwise UK
Introduction

Table of contents

Section 1: Industry overview........................................................................3
UK Internet visits to key media categories....................................................3
Fast moving search terms (December 2008 vs. January 2009) ........................3

Section 2: Fast movers .................................................................................4
TFL and National Rail UK............................................................................4
The Whitehouse........................................................................................4
Anne Frank ..............................................................................................4
Compare the Meerkat ................................................................................4

Section 3: Top Stories ..................................................................................5
Social Networks overtake adult websites ......................................................6
Wikipedia and its imitators .........................................................................7
Searches for e-books double ......................................................................9
January football transfers ........................................................................ 11

Section 4: Short Cuts..................................................................................13
Searches for ‘valentine breaks uk’ increase by more than 50%...................... 13
Interest in Family History Peaks as 1911 Census goes online ........................ 13
New Year’s Eve losing its appeal? .............................................................. 13

Section 5: Appendix ...................................................................................14
Further Reading ..................................................................................... 14
Hitwise UK Christmas Retail Review 2008 (Report) ...................................... 14
Hitwise Video Games Webinar (Webinar recording)...................................... 14
About Hitwise......................................................................................... 14
Terms Used in this Report ........................................................................ 15
Disclaimer ............................................................................................. 15

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Section 1: Industry overview

Section 1: Industry overview

UK Internet visits to key media categories
Monthly Yearly
Category Jan-09 Dec-08 Jan-08
change Change
News and Media 5.63% 5.46% 3.1% 4.89% 15.1%
Community Directories and Guides 0.24% 0.23% 4.3% 0.31% -22.6%
Online Video 2.53% 2.81% -10.0% 1.66% 52.4%
Social Networking & Forums 9.53% 9.37% 1.7% 7.62% 25.1%
Print 1.79% 1.69% 5.9% 1.45% 23.4%
Blogs and personal websites 0.75% 0.74% 1.4% 0.91% -17.6%
*Based on market share of UK Internet visits within All Categories.

• With the largest monthly change, a decrease of 10% in traffic, Online Video is
the only category of the six to decline between December 08 and January 09.
• The Print category has experienced the largest monthly increase in visits.
jobs.guardian.co.uk saw traffic increase by 107% in January, making it one of
the fastest moving sites in the Print category last month.
• The Social Networking & Forums category continues to grow year on year with
a 25.1% increase in traffic. While facebook.com remains the number one site
within the category, UK Internet traffic to twitter.com has increased 10-fold over the
past 12 months, making it one of the fastest growing websites overall in the UK during
2009.

Fast moving search terms (December 2008 vs. January
2009)

Community Directories and
Rank News and Media Print
Guides
1 big brother sun holidays max preece
2 demons matt smith berlin
3 windows 7 john travolta chinese new year
4 hustle dancing on ice land of leather
5 matt smith the sun holidays my bloody valentine
6 sun holidays patrick swayze nerja
7 cbeebies games windows 7 jade goody
8 john travolta lucy pinder basingstoke news
9 burns night ulrika jonsson bbc celts
10 barack obama barack obama fuengirola

Rank Social Networking and Forums Online Video (custom category) Blogs & Personal Websites

1 max preece slumdog millionaire bnp
2 big brother todd carty jackson pollock
3 lucy pinder ninja cat professor layton
4 chinese new year waterloo road john axon
5 jackson pollock jackson pollock this site may harm your
6 facebook co uk the stig revealed perez hilton .com
7 white lies big brother new moon
8 skins boxxy jett travolta
9 little boots coolio natalie dylan
10 just dance t mobile advert windows 7 download

Colour key: Sport, Entertainment, Celebrity, News / Current Affairs, Internet/ Technology

*Based on the search terms sending traffic to each category that experienced the largest relative increase
in market share of searches between the 4 weeks ending 31st January 2009 and 27th December 2008.

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Section 2: Fast Movers

Section 2: Fast movers
The Whitehouse
TFL and National Rail UK

The official White House website was one of the
It comes as no surprise that, due to the recent fastest moving sites during the week ending
24/01/09. UK visits increased by 525% over a
snowfall, 02/02/09 was the busiest ever day for
single week. The spike in interest followed
weather websites in the UK. The weather caused
President Obama’s inauguration on 20/1/08.
major delays for commuters, and traffic to ‘barack obama’ was the 2nd fastest moving search
tfl.gov.uk and nationalrail.co.uk also peaked. term that week and searches for ‘obama’ were
The National Rail website received three times its 6th. Searches for both terms increased over 7-fold
normal level of traffic, while Transport for London’s compared to the previous week.
site experienced a five-fold increase in visits.

Anne Frank Compare the Meerkat

Visits to the Official Anne Frank website Visits to Compare the Market increased by
increased 19 times for the week ending 86% during the first two weeks in January.
10/01/09. The growth in traffic came after the As the chart reveals, this corresponded with
BBC aired a 5 episode drama adaptation of The the increase in traffic to the marketing
Diary of Anne Frank. website Compare the Meerkat. 21% of the
people visiting Compare the Meerkat went to
Compare the Market afterwards.

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Section 3: Top Stories

Section 3: Top Stories
Twitter traffic increases 10-fold in a year
UK Internet traffic to Twitter.com has increased 10-fold over the 12 months to
January. For the week ending 17/01/09, www.twitter.com ranked as the 291st most
visited website in the UK, up from a ranking of 2,953 for the week ending 19/01/08.
UK Internet traffic to the website increased by 974% over this period.

Twitter was one of the fastest growing websites in the UK last year, and it shows no
signs of slowing down. Many people seem to find Twitter addictive: the average
amount of time that people spend on Twitter.com has more than trebled from less
than 10 minutes a year ago to half an hour now.
Twitter receives the largest amount of its traffic from the USA, but its penetration is
greater in the UK market. For the week ending 17/01/09, www.twitter.com ranked as
the 291st most visited website in the UK, accounting for 0.024% of all Internet visits;
while in the USA it ranked 350th, picking up 0.020% of all Internet visits.
In Britain, Twitter is still most popular with younger users in urban areas, but its
appeal is broadening as it grows. The fastest growing age group of users is 35-44
year olds, who now account for 17.3% of UK visitors to www.twitter.com.
Twitter is becoming an important source of Internet traffic for many sites, and the
amount of traffic it sends to other websites has increased 30-fold over the last 12
months. Almost 10% of Twitter’s downstream traffic goes to News and Media
websites, and BBC News is currently the seventh most popular site visited after
Twitter. A further 17.6% of traffic goes to entertainment websites, while 14.6% goes
to social networks, 6.6% to blogs and 4.5% to online retailers.

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Section 3: Top stories

As a source of traffic Twitter is still in its infancy, but it is becoming more important
every day. A number of news sites, blogs, and video and picture websites already
rely on Twitter for a significant amount of their traffic.
The most popular website visited after Twitter is Facebook. Britain’s most popular
social network continues to pick up users and is now the second most visited website
in the UK after Google UK. Its growth helped Hitwise’s Social Networking and Forums
category account for 10.1% of all UK Internet visits during December – the first time
that the industry has passed the 10% threshold. Twitter is also included in the
category, and ranked 23rd for the week ending 17/1/09.

Social Networks overtake adult websites

UK Internet visits to Social Networks and Forums have overtaken Adult websites. As
the chart below illustrates, social networks overtook Adult websites last October and
have remained ahead since.

Adult sites are notably more popular with men but almost 55% of visitors to the
Hitwise Social Networks and Forums category are female. Looking at the data by
region, there isn’t a huge variation in the popularity of either adult sites or social
networks.

In the US social networks first overtook adult sites in mid 2007, but since then the
two categories have been battling it out with no clear winner emerging. Looking at
the chart, there may be a similar situation in the UK; social networks have stayed
ahead of adult sites since overtaking them, but the gap hasn’t widened much in the
last couple of months.

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Section 3: Top stories

Wikipedia and its imitators

Wikipedia is now the 14th most visited website in the UK and the 5th largest recipient
of traffic from search engines. The social encyclopaedia’s success, combined with the
popularity of wikis in general, has led to an explosion in the number of websites using
either the ‘wiki’ or ‘pedia’ approach to a range of topics.

In order to quantify this trend a custom category was created of over a hundred sites
that include either ‘wiki’ or ‘pedia’ in their name. The top 10 based on market share
of UK Internet visits during January are listed below. (Note that this category
excludes sites published by the Wikimedia foundation, any genuine ‘normal’
encyclopaedias, and all Expedia properties).

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Section 3: Top stories

The top 10 list includes a range of sites covering retail, technology and
entertainment. Games are well represented in the top 10 with the World of Warcraft
and Fallout wikis, and there are quite a few further down the list as well. However, it
is information sites that receive most traffic: WikiHow is at number 3 and
WikiAnswers tops the list with almost a third of visits to the category. Traffic to
WikiAnswers has trebled over the last 12 months, but as the chart below illustrates, it
still lags behind the answers market leader, Yahoo! Answers.

Returning to the ‘wiki’ and ‘pedia’ sites, traffic to the custom category increased by
138% between January 2008 and January 2009. However, as the chart below
illustrates, the original remains the best; last month Wikipedia received five times as
many visits as all of its ‘wiki’ and ‘pedia’ imitators combined.

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Section 3: Top stories
.

Searches for e-books double

Over the last year UK interest in e-books has grown significantly, with searches for
‘ebooks’ doubling between January 2008 and 2009. There are four main e-book
readers currently available: the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, the Borders iLiad,
and the Bookeen Cybook V3. In the US the Kindle e-book reader sold out within a few
hours of its launch.

Charting the most popular searches for each reader shows that in the US the Kindle is
by far the most searched for e-reader. However the Kindle is not yet available in the
UK and therefore it is the Sony Reader that dominates UK e-reader searches. As you
can see from the chart below, this Christmas searches for ‘ebooks’ peaked a couple of
weeks after those for the readers.

Searches for e-readers have followed similar patterns in the US and UK. Interest has
been building since September 2008 and there were peaks in November and
December in the build up to Christmas. Interestingly, relative to population, the
market share of searches for the ‘kindle’ in the US is almost the same as the market
share of searches in the UK for the ‘sony reader’.

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Section 3: Top stories

eBooks.com receives the most traffic from UK searches for ‘ebooks’, despite the fact
not all of its titles are available to UK buyers. The demographic info for eBooks.com
shows that 31% of visitors to the site come from people aged 55+, implying that this
might be one technology where the early adopters are older rather than younger.

Two of the more interesting sites receiving traffic from e-book searches are free-
ebooks.net and Project Gutenberg, both of which offer free downloads. Project
Gutenberg is one of the more established e-book sites and most of its content is
available for free because it focuses on books that are out of copyright. As you would
expect, e-book searchers are always on the look out for free stuff and the second
most popular search including the term ‘ebooks’ is ‘free ebooks’.

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Section 3: Top stories

January football transfers

February 2nd was the last day of the January football transfer window, giving many of
those people stuck at home because of the snow storms something to worry about in
the absence of work. As the chart below illustrates, the biggest beneficiaries were the
BBC Sport and Sky Sports websites. Sky almost caught up with its rival, but not
quite: on 02/02/09 BBC Sport was the 15th most visited website in the UK, while Sky
ranked 16th.

The two biggest transfer stories on the day were Robbie Keane’s return to Spurs from
Liverpool, and Andrei Arshavin's move from Zenit St. Petersburg to Arsenal. Both of
the north London clubs’ websites experienced spikes in traffic as a result, with
Arsenal overtaking Manchester United to become the second most visited Premier
League club after Liverpool on 02/02/09.

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Section 3: Top stories

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Section 4: Short cuts

Section 4: Short Cuts
Searches for ‘valentine breaks uk’ increase by more than 50%
Due to the current economic downturn, the number of UK Internet searches for
Valentine breaks to UK destinations has increased compared to last year. Popular
locations include Scotland, London, Yorkshire, Cornwall, and Northern Ireland. At the
same time, searches for Valentine breaks abroad have decreased. For example, last
year ‘valentine breaks to paris’ was the 20th most popular search term containing the
phrase ‘valentine breaks’, but this year it has fallen to 29th.

Interest in Family History Peaks as 1911 Census goes online
On 13/1/09 the 1911 Census went online and became available to the public via
1911census.co.uk. The Census contains the records of about 36 million people,
making it a very valuable family history resource. Visits to the National Archive
website doubled, while visits to the 1911 census site increased by 83 times from the
10th January.
‘1911 census’ was also the fastest moving search term for the week ending 17/01/09
and there were 5 other census related searches in the top 15 fast movers. In addition
to the sites mentioned above, there were three other family history sites in the top
20 websites receiving traffic from searches for ‘1911 census’: Genes Reunited,
FindMyPast.com, and Ancestry.co.uk.

New Year’s Eve losing its appeal?
Searches for 'new years eve' traditionally peak in the last week of December and this
year was no exception. Yet, compared with December 2006 there were 60% less
searches for 'new years eve' this December and 20% less than in December 2007.
In 2007 viewlondon.co.uk was the fourth ranked website receiving traffic from 'new
years eve' searches but in 2008 it became the top site receiving traffic from the
search term. Traffic to the site doubled in the last week of December 2008 compared
to the same week in 2007.

For more in-depth analysis, subscribe to the Hitwise UK blog at:
http://weblogs.hitwise.com/robin-goad/

Keep up to date with real time data by following Hitwise on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/Hitwise_UK

For further information, please contact your Hitwise account manager or
email: support.uk@hitwise.com

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Section 5: Appendix

Section 5: Appendix
Further Reading
To receive a copy of these or any other Hitwise research reports, please contact your
account manager or email support.uk@hitwise.com.

Hitwise UK Christmas Retail Review 2008 (Report)
This new report looks back to the holiday season and compares how online and
offline retail performed during this year's credit crunch Christmas. Whilst online has
continued to increase its share of total retail spending in the UK, it has not proved as
recession proof as some had initially hoped.

Hitwise Video Games Webinar (Webinar recording)
Video games now generate more revenue than both Hollywood and the music
industry. Following last year’s blockbuster Christmas for the games industry, how will
this holiday season perform now that the current generation of consoles have
achieved widespread adoption?
Our video games webinar, presented by Richard Seymour, Client Intelligence Analyst
for Hitwise UK, will answer the following questions:
• What were the most searched-for consoles, games and accessories this
Christmas?
• What is the role of review sites, fan sites and social networks in the video
games market?
• How can video games retailers and content providers improve their online
presence?
• What is the state of the online gaming market in the UK?
Hitwise clients can view a recording of this webinar by visiting Hitwise
University/Industry Trends: http://clients.hitwise.co.uk/university.

About Hitwise
Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Only Hitwise provides its
1,500 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact
with a broad range of competitive websites, and how their competitors use different
tactics to attract online customers.
Since 1997, Hitwise has pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet
measurement. Through relationships with ISPs around the world, Hitwise’s patented
methodology anonymously captures the online usage, search and conversion
behavior of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage
data is seamlessly integrated into an easy to use, web-based service, designed to
help marketers better plan, implement and report on a range of online marketing
programs.
Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian (FTS: EXPN) www.experiangroup.com operates in
the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and
Singapore. More information about Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.com.
For up to date analysis of online trends, please visit the Hitwise Intelligence-Analyst
Weblogs at http://weblogs.hitwise.com and the Hitwise Data Center at
www.hitwise.com/datacenter.

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Section 5: Appendix

Terms Used in this Report

Hitwise provides clients with various metrics for analyzing competitive activity. The
definitions of metrics used by Hitwise are:

User Visit: A series of one or more page requests by a visitor without 30 consecutive
minutes of inactivity.

Market Share: The percentage of all visits or page requests to a particular online
market sector that is received by the individual website.

Clickstream: Provides an indication of the upstream and downstream traffic to and
from a website. Upstream sites are those sites visited immediately prior to visiting
the current site. Downstream sites are those visited immediately after leaving the
current site.
Fast Moving Search Terms: Search terms which are sending traffic to a category
that experienced the largest relative increase in market share of searches between
two periods of time.
Mosaic UK: Mosaic UK is a socio-cultural classification of the UK population that has
been developed by Experian to describe and group the population on the basis of the
proven principle that individuals with similar interests, lifestyles, profiles and
behaviour cluster closely together. Mosaic UK™ classifies all UK households and
neighbourhoods into 11 Mosaic Groups and 61 Mosaic Types. The classification
specifies both a Mosaic Group and Type for each of the 1.7 million postcodes in the
UK. The type assigned is the one that most closely describes the characteristics of
those households and the individuals living there.

Disclaimer
Some of the data presented in this report is based on custom data sets built for the
purpose of this report and not available in the syndicated Hitwise service. This
research report may contain names, information, data, links to third party website
addresses, and other materials belonging to third parties; including textual references
to such items. Any and all such uses are for illustrative purposes only and do not
necessarily indicate an endorsement of the opinions, products or services provided by
those third parties. Hitwise does not claim any proprietary right in, or to, any such
items as may qualify as copyrights, trademarks or other proprietary marks of third
parties.
Hitwise is not responsible for the content of third party websites, or the manner in
which information may be collected on that website and used by the third party.
Hitwise disclaims any responsibility towards the visitor of a third party website or any
third party for any direct, indirect or incidental reliance, consequential or punitive
damages, including without limitation lost profits, expenses or revenue; regardless of
whether Hitwise knew, or ought to have known, of the possibility of any loss or
damage arising from the use of, or visit to, a third party’s website.
Use of this research report is at your own and sole risk. Hitwise disclaims any and all
warranties or representations in respect of the accuracy or usefulness of information,
or any observations that may be derived from such information, obtained from
Hitwise.

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