New York, NY (February 3, 2006)–Internet media and market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings announced that traffic to Apple’s iTunes web site and use of the iTunes application has skyrocketed 241 percent over the past year, from 6.1 million unique visitors in December 2004 to 20.7 million in December 2005, reaching nearly 14 percent of the active Internet population.
Teens are disproportionately represented among iTunes users; 12- to 17-year-olds are nearly twice as likely to visit the iTunes web site and use the application as the average Internet user. iTunes users are also more likely to be male; the site’s traffic is 54 percent male and 46 percent female.
“The rapid growth of iTunes is an important phenomenon in the online media marketplace,” said Jon Gibs, director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. “Consumers have clearly indicated that they are eager to control their own music libraries, one song at a time.”
Gibs continued, “As networks begin to decide what types of programs to either produce or distribute through iTunes video, they should match the TV audiences’ offline purchase and media consumption behavior with that of the iTunes users to maximize the success of video downloads.”
Nielsen//NetRatings revealed that iTunes users form a distinct target audience with identifiable brand preferences. Their favorite car make is Volkswagen, which they are 2.2 times more likely to own than the average internet user. Other popular carmakers among the group include Audi and Subaru. In terms of beverages, their alcohol of choice is hard cider, followed by imported and domestic beer.
iTunes users also have decided media preferences. Among magazines, they are 3.3 times more likely than average to read Wired, 2.6 times more likely to read Rolling Stone and 2.5 times more likely to read FHM. When watching television, they flock to the Cartoon Network at 1.4 times the average rate, and to HBO and BBC America at 1.3 and 1.2 times the average rate, respectively.