The Oct.14 edition of Week on the Web prompted a number of requests for an analysis of the burgeoning online Weather category. In August 2002, WeatherBug reached 14 percent of U.S. at-work Internet users who were connected to the site for 991 million minutes.
Popular among many, weather can impact travel and leisure activities, agriculture, consumer spending, personal safety and many other aspects of daily life for countless people. And so not surprisingly, although specific in focus, weather information sites have become important destinations for tens of millions of Internet users each month. In fact, two of the top-ten visited online entities in the News and Information category in September 2002 are weather-specific information sources: WeatherBug, which reached 15.5 million unique visitors and The Weather Channel, which drew 13.5 million. Additionally, both properties consistently rank prominently in the monthly comScore Media Metrix U.S. Top 50 Internet Property Ranking.
Focusing on Weather-specific sources (within News and Information), the September 2002 ratings show that there are relatively few online destinations devoted primarily to weather information. WeatherBug and The Weather Channel are dominant, with only two other companies (Accuweather.com and Wunderground.com) drawing more than one million visitors:
Weather Entities U.S. Unique Visitor Ranking September 2002
|Weather Channel, The||13,504,000||10,055,000||6,345,000|
According to comScore September 2002 demographic data, the Weather category is favored slightly by males and persons age 45 and older. Moreover, Internet users in the U.S. Pacific Census region - which has a steadier climate - were 24 percent less likely to visit the Weather category versus the total U.S. population. Conversely, users in the Eastern regions of New England, Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic - with more dramatic changes in climate - collectively were 14 percent more likely to visit these services.
Weather Entities Demographic Composition September 2002
|Weather Category||Total Internet|
NOTE: Data are based on U.S. Internet users in September 2002.