Traffic Soars At Apple

Apple's Web sites drew 30.8 million visitors last month--up from 19.6 million in November 2004, thanks to a surge in iTunes use, according to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings.

iTunes this fall started offering downloads of TV shows and music videos that can be played on Apple's new video iPod, which debuted Oct. 12. As of Wednesday, more than 3,000 videos were available for downloading on iTunes, including episodes of the TV programs "Commander in Chief," "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "The Office," "Battlestar Galactica," and "Monk." In the first three weeks that the video iPod was on the market, consumers downloaded more than one million videos.

While Apple was the top-gaining site year-to-year, search giant Google and retail powerhouse Amazon also saw traffic surges. Google garnered 85.5 million visitors--a 29 percent surge from last year's 66.4 million--while Amazon lured 42.5 million--up 16 percent from 36.6 million in November 2004.

Meanwhile, Photobucket--a photo-hosting site used by bloggers--was the fastest-growing property on the Web, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The site, virtually unknown last year, drew 15.6 million visitors last month.

Social networking sites MySpace and Facebook each grew by more than 500 percent. MySpace drew 24.5 million visitors last month--up from 2.9 million last year--while Facebook saw 5.9 million visitors last month, compared to less than one million a year ago.

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