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Nielsen/NetRatings Releases March Data

Internet audience measurement service Nielsen/Netratings has released its findings for the first full month of March, based on what it claims to be the largest panel in Australia.

AC Nielsen's online measurement arm eRatings.com, a joint venture between the market research firm and Internet audience measurement technology and analysis company NetRatings, has drawn from its panel of 7,650 users that men account for 55 per cent of its audience profile in Australia, compared to a fairly equal split in the US. According to the survey, men also spend an average of almost nine hours per month surfing the Web, while women spend just under seven hours.

Other findings indicate that MSN, Yahoo! and Passport are the most popular sites by domain in Australia. The report shows that global Internet domains feature prominently in international surfing activity, with MSN being the top Web site by domain in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and is second to Yahoo! in Singapore and Ireland.

"In Australia, MSN, through its local alliance with ninemsn, and Yahoo!, have risen to the top by carefully developing relationships with local content providers, then adding their value-added applications such as free e-mail, online communities and searching capabilities to provide a well-rounded local package," said AC Nielsen eRatings.com marketing and sales director Mark Henning.

The data released this week is based on information derived from tracking the activity of the panel of Internet users across Australia during March as they surfed the Web, moved within sites and were exposed to a variety of advertising banners.

Since the ratings service was launched five months ago, ACNielsen eRatings reports it has formed a global panel of 95,000 users and signed 55 global clients. The research and reporting service provides summary information relating to overall Internet use, including sites most visited and leading advertisers.

Henning said the service provided valuable information which is then sold to subscribers including emitch, Macquarie Bank, Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand, Zivo and Turner International.

"The comprehansive analysis available through Nielsen/NetRatings will enable site publishers, advertisers and agencies to track audience exposure, to Internet ads, target specific demographic groups, do extensive campaign analysis and analyse competitors' advertising and campaigns," said Henning.

The panel is selected by a random digit dial technology, but the firm has so far been reluctant to release the exact demographics of these users.