The top 10 web domains by percentage of total time spent online accounted for 36% of total consumer attention in September 2011, according to December analysis from Compete. Data from the analysis indicates that this represents a small increase from 35% share of attention in September 2006, but a significant 20% rise from 30% share in September 2001. According to Compete insight, these results disprove the “long-tail theory” that describes the democratization of media and business through the internet by removing some of the institutionalized hegemonic powers of the largest mainstream outlets.
Concentration of power exists online, too, it appears, but just belongs to a different set of owners.
Top 3 Get One-Quarter Share
Compete data shows that Facebook (15%) boasted the top share of time spent online in September, more than double the share accounted for by YouTube (6%), and almost quadruple the share held by Yahoo and Google (both at 4%). Rounding out the top 5 was Craisglist, which held a 2% share of total time spent online.
According to Nielsen data released in November, the majority of top brands in average monthly time spent per user experienced a decrease in time spent on their sites during September 2011. The average Facebook user spent 7 hours, 42 minutes and 26 seconds on the site, down more than 3 minutes from the previous month. The average Yahoo user cut time spent by over 5 minutes, down to 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 32 seconds, while AOL, MSN/WindowsLive/Bing and YouTube all experienced significant declines of about 10 minutes each.
Page View Data More Mixed
According to Compete, analysis of page views yields a cloudier picture when considering the “long-tail theory”: this year, the top 10 domains by page views accounted for 34% of total page views in September, representing an 11% decrease from 40% in September 2006. However, the share of total page views held by the top 10 domains was only 31% in September 2001, meaning that page view concentration has risen almost 10% in the past decade.
Facebook Tops for Page Views, Too
Facebook accounted for 11% of all page views in September 2011, more than double the share held by Craigslist (5%) and Google (5%). Yahoo (4%) and YouTube (4%) rounded out the top 5, ahead of Ebay (2%) and a range of other sites holding 1% share.
In September 2006, MySpace (16%) was the number 1 domain by page views, beating out Yahoo (8%), Ebay (4%), MSN (3%), AOL (3%), and Google (3%).