Your Thoughts on Hitwise and comScore Data

Heather Green

Once again, we have a war of different third-party data from comScore and Hitwise. Recently Hitwise put out data about how, even after Viacom yanked its clips from YouTube, traffic increased at YouTube the following two weeks in February. comScore doesn't have its February data yet, but I asked both of them to pull January data and they have very different results.

YouTube's total number of unique users only grew 2.6% between December and January, while page views rose 3.5%. Here's the breakdown:

Total Unique Visitors (in millions)
Aug-06 Sep-06 Oct-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 Jan-07
19,089 20,759 23,480 25,471 29,597 30,358
18.7% 8.7% 13.1% 8.5% 16.2% 2.6% (change from prior month)

Total Pages Viewed (MM)
Aug-06 Sep-06 Oct-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 Jan-07
1,055 1,326 1,530 1,578 1,933 2,002
59.7% 25.7% 15.4% 3.1% 22.5% 3.5% (change from prior month)

Hitwise, which doesn't release unique visitors data found:

From December to January, the percentage of overall Internet visits to Youtube has gone up 33% among all us Internet users or visits.

Clearly we need to dig into the two methodologies, but I wanted to hear from you to know what your experience has been with the two companies data.

Hitwise says the difference is in the methodology and sample size. It partners with ISPs and has a sample size of 10 million folks. comScore says its panel of folks it recruits and tracks is at 2 million.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.