June 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

Apple Computer leads tally of visits to hardware sites, study says

Apple led a tally of visits to manufacturers` web sites that sell computer hardware for the week ended Sun., June 15, topping second-place Hewlett-Packard by 46%. In a survey of online ads, books/music/movies led with number of impressions.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Outshining HP and Dell, Apple Computer Corp. received the most unique visitors to its web site for the week ending June 15, according to a survey by Nielsen/NetRatings of the top five web sites operated by manufacturers that sell computer hardware. Apple showed a unique audience of 3.6 million, 46% more than second-place Hewlett-Packard Co., at 2.4 million.

Apple and HP reversed rolls, however, in terms of visit time per person. Apple showed the least amount of time per visit, at 3 minutes., 44 seconds., compared to HP, which had the longest time per visit, at 19 minutes., 46 seconds.

The other manufacturers cited by Nielsen/NetRatings in the top five, with their unique audience followed by time per visitor:
-- Dell Computer Corp., 2.1 million; 8 minutes, 50 seconds
-- Gateway Computer Corp., 347,000; 9 minutes, 5 seconds
-- Toshiba, 215,000; 9 minutes, 35 seconds.

Nielsen reported that the number of unique visitors to all computer hardware manufacturers` web sites was 5.9 million. Many of these visitors would have visited multiple sites, Nielsen says.

In Nielsen`s AdRelevance survey of the top 10 retail categories by online advertising activity, the books-movies-music category--coinciding with summer releases of movies and the latest Harry Potter book--garnered the most impressions from online ads for the week ending June 15. The books-movies-music category showed 1.8 billion impressions for a 19.6% share of the 5.5 billion impressions recorded among the top 10 categories. That compares with the 17.6% share of the second-place category of personal care products, with 969 million impressions.

The other eight categories, with number of impressions and % share:
-- Miscellaneous services, 724.2 million; 13.2%;
-- Flowers and gifts, 721.4 million; 13.1%;
-- Auctions, 461.4 million; 8.4%;
-- Electronics, 190.4 million; 3.5%;
-- Apparel and jewelry, 128.2 million; 2.3%;
-- Home improvement, 113.9 million, 2.1%;
-- Recreational gear, 67.8 million; 1.2%; and
--Automotive supply and service, 66 million, 1.2%.

Nielsen noted an ad impression is counted whenever a page the ad is on is uploaded to a computer screen. The survey doesn`t verify that a site visitor actually saw or read the ad.

All online advertising data in the survey excludes house ads, or self-promotional ads that an advertiser places on its own web site.



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