Hitwise Completes The Online Picture

In the field dominated by online measurement superpowers Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore, there is a new competitor. And this one comes from overseas, touting profitability and a better way to do things.

With profitable operations in five countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand, Australian based Hitwise yesterday launched its online competitive intelligence service for the US market. What's makes this company somewhat unique is that they provide information to marketers on a daily basis.

According to Hitwise CEO, Andrew Walsh, "Over the past five years, the company has built a categorized database of unprecedented home, work and education Internet usage information based on the activity of millions of people. As a result, Hitwise is in the unique position to provide 'Fortune 1000' marketers who are not necessarily ranked in the top 500 with daily insights on how their customers behave online, and interact with competitive brands."

Hitwise currently monitors how more than 10 million US Internet users interact with over 200,000 online businesses, across 150 industry categories, on a daily basis. Combining this sample with the company's existing sample of 13 million users across existing markets, Hitwise monitors and reports on the activity of over 23 million Internet users worldwide.

Company officials say that because Hitwise collects its data primarily from ISP's, the company is able to cost effectively monitor how more people visit more websites. Working with over 500 clients worldwide including AXA Financial, Hilton International, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Sony, Hitwise is not considered a traditional "panel" audience measurement product. Rather, the service provides breadth, depth and timeliness of data in a user-friendly interface.

Hitwise has also engaged the services of audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide a quarterly independent report on the company's privacy policies with respect to its monitoring methodology and the integrity of the data.

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