Spring Blockbusters Drive Movie Fans To Online Ticketing Services
With a blockbuster month of spring movie releases, retail ticket sites comprised the fastest growing category between April and May 2002, increasing 25% to 18.9 million unique visitors.
The fastest growing ticket sites were: Movietickets.com, up 155% to 3.1 million visitors; Fandango.com, up 114% to 2.4 million visitors; and Moviefone.com, up 55% to 7.3 million visitors. Similarly, fans searching for movie information also drove traffic to: Amctheatres.com, up 236% to 941,000 visitors; Regalcinemas.com, up 129% to 679,000 visitors; and Loewscineplex.com, which entered the monthly reports with 81,000 visitors.
The season's first blockbusters also drew significant traffic to their respective fan and trailer sites. Starwars.com grew 99% to 2.9 million unique visitors, while Spiderman.sonypictures.com (part of the Sony Online property) grew 56% to 1.4 million visitors. Other highly anticipated movies also made their debut in the reports this month: About-a-boy.com broke in with 301,000 unique visitors; Austinpowers.com entered with 300,000 visitors; and Undercover-brother.com appeared with 278,000 visitors.
Gainers and Losers Among the Top 100 - Unique visitors to two-thirds of the Top 100 Properties increased between April and May 2002. The top three properties - AOL Time Warner Network, MSN-Microsoft Sites and Yahoo Sites - all increased significantly, though AOL Time Warner led the way with 96.4 million U.S. visitors, up four percent versus the previous month. Overall, the Top 100 Properties welcomed eleven new entrants this month, with the Top 25 adding only one newcomer.
Top Newcomer Sites - There were 45 Top Newcomers - sites that appeared in the monthly ratings for the first time with at least 500,000 unique visitors - in May 2002. Perhaps the most notable was Allbrevard.net with 871,000 visitors. The site offers instructions on how to fold a U.S. dollar bill to reveal images purportedly related to the Sept. 11 attacks. Health sites also were popular among this month's Newcomers list: Fitnessheaven.com had 1.6 million visitors; Amerifit.com had 559,000 visitors; and Vitaball.com had 507,000 visitors.
Sports Category Down, But World Cup Sites Up - While overall traffic to the sports category dropped three percent to 35.7 million unique visitors in May 2002, several sites related to the World Cup were up. Fifaworldcup.yahoo.com (part of the Yahoo! Sites property) debuted on the comScore Media Metrix charts with 1.0 million visitors. Similarly, Espnsoccernet.com became reportable with 613,000 visitors. Some other notable sports sites - not devoted to soccer - entered the ratings in May as well: the NCAA property with 687,000 visitors; Fordracing.com with 586,000 visitors; and Kentuckyderby.com with 334,000 visitors.
Summer Benefits Car-Rental Companies - For the second consecutive month, the car-rental category made a significant leap forward, likely boosted by the Memorial Day kick-off to the summer vacation season. Car-rental sites increased from 3.2 million unique visitors in March 2002 to 4.0 million in April to 4.5 million in May. The fastest growing car-rental sites between April and May 2002 were: Nationalcar.com, up 40% to 834,000 visitors; Drivebudget.com, up 28% to 1.5 million visitors; and Avis.com, up 27 percent to 1.6 million visitors.