Chart Of The Day

Here are the top thirty Internet properties in the world as measured by comScore:

Top 30

The interesting thing about this chart is that 75% of these properties are based in the US.

Contrast that with only 17% of the Internet audience (213mm) is in the US and you will see that Internet is one of the primary export industries in the US.

#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. Julien

    As you pointed in the past though, revenues from the US are probably closer to the 75% figure than to the 17%, so I’m not sure we could actually call that “exporting”, given that the costs are probably the same for international and local audience.

    1. fredwilson

      that is a good pointi wonder if global revenues will grow faster than global based web servicesin the top thirty

  2. Sean Black

    If you take the 80/20 rule one step further, I bet you that these sites easily represent 80% of the total online ad spend in the US, leaving a measly 20% for all the rest. One step further still, the top 6 or 20% on the list probably represent 80% of the 80% total spend!

  3. Bill Bishop

    Could you or Comscore explain how Chinese sites are counted? The numbers for the Chinese sites seem low

    1. alphaG77

      I was thinking the same thing.

    2. fredwilson

      Let’s see if they weigh in with some comments

      1. Bill Bishop

        I ended up writing a post on the Comscore china numbers. I sent @comscore a couple of tweets with questions but never got a response″Comscore and others may be understating the size of the major Chinese Internet firms, but investors are not. As the table below shows, two of the top five global Internet firms by market capitalization are Chinese: Tencent is number 3 and Baidu is number 5. (If Facebook were public it would likely displace one of the Chinese firms in the top 5.)”

  4. Martin De Saulles

    If you compare this to the FT Global top 30 business rankings (based on market cap) the ratios are, not too surprisingly, quite different. Only 53% of the companies are US-based with the rest fairly evenly divided between China, UK, Switzerland and Brazil. Microsoft, Apple and Google are only companies to be in both lists. It will be interesting to see whether more “new media”/Internet companies enter the FT list in coming years and replace the mining/banks/oil companies that currently dominate it.

    1. fredwilson

      I bet they will. Facebook seems like a natural one. Amazon too. And maybe twitter too!

  5. kidmercury

    i wonder what this will look like in 10 years. increasingly, i think the top 30 will be predominantly commons properties (like wikipedia) with the profit happening in smaller communities.

    1. Adrian Palacios

      like the internet version of the pareto principle??

      1. kidmercury

        yes i think so, something pareto principle-ish.

  6. Dan Lewis

    But is ComScore US biased? Google/DoubleClick (… has a lot of non-US in the top 100; certainly more than 25.Also, Conduit in the top 30 per ComScore is odd, as those are mostly toolbar/plugin users.

    1. paramendra

      I don’t see listed.… What’s going on? Is it because they don’t run ads on that page? Or they are not too happy about having lost the number one spot to Facebook?

  7. Tereza

    “Export” feels like a loose term in the virtual world. Does the proportionate revenue make it back to the US though?

    1. falicon

      I agree…in the virtual world, I would think of ‘export’ as offline more than I would country to country (so do more offline things drive online transactions [import] or do more online things drive offline transactions [export]?)…Still interesting to watch the world go from individual pockets separated by geography to individual pockets separated by ideals…great time to be alive! 🙂

      1. ShanaC

        Less wars, we just made an artificial cell, and I get to talk to interesting people far far away and nearby instantaneously, I second the great time to be alive!I wonder what the world will be like when I am 50…

    2. ShanaC

      that’s true… technically would be an import otherwise, and yet it doesn’t feel that way at all…

  8. Tereza

    Hey Folks — a Public Service Announcement –If any of you were planning to attend tonight’s Alterna-Meetup at Shake Shack in NYC (23/Madison).If it rains, find us at LIVE BAIT on 23rd St just South of Madison Square Park.See you!T.

    1. awaldstein

      Trying to make this tonight Tereza. Be fun to connect face2face

      1. Tereza

        Yes indeed!Folks if anyone’s looking for me I’m hard to miss, although don’t look exactly like my sleek professional headshot. Hahaha. Airbrushing does wonders on crow’s feet.Look for a gal 5’10” with long reddish curlyish hair wearing a purple dress.I’m a Leo, enjoy long walks on the beach, vintage movies and have a secret tattoo.Kidding! Got your attention, though.In reality I’m a digital Hausfrau and greatly look forward to meeting each of you. Til then….

    2. Dave Pinsen

      You know, Shake Shack has an indoor location on the UWS.

      1. Tereza

        You are right although I’d rather not change the neighborhood on the day of as people might miss the message.Hopefully the rain clouds will hold back and the park will be fine.

    3. fredwilson

      I will be there Tereza

    4. fredwilson

      Ooh. This is an evening meetup. Gotta check on that. Not sure I can make it

  9. paramendra

    Blog design suggestion: could this graphic have been bigger?Comment: Yahoo, AOL and eBay are still running strong. Wisdom has it they are also rans. The numbers speak otherwise.As for the US thing, that is also true about the blogosphere. There are more bloggers than lawyers in America.Good to see Twitter at 29. They could do better. They could beat WordPress. But after some work of adding features and simplifying the service. 2009 was all scaling.Why do people go to Are there parts of their site I am not aware of?Great post on advertising a few days back. I have been meaning to write a reply post at my blog on that.See you June 6. Looks like it might be quite a crowd. Maybe I will catch a glimpse of you. 🙂

  10. Alex R

    Media (movies, music, etc.) is traditionally one of the USA’s top exports, so these numbers don’t surprise me.The next logical question is… do we think this will continue, or will low barriers to entry skew this chart dramatically in 10 years? I think most people would be inclined to say “yes”, but I think there’s a good argument for either side.

  11. andyswan

    It’s likely that although the US has ~20% of the internet “audience”, it is responsible for ~80% of internet “consumption”, so that last line doesn’t really move the needle for me.That said, we’re still exporting a lot, despite what the cynics bemoaning the loss of the buggywhip industry might tell you.

  12. kirklove

    Two things strike me.1. AOL is still so high and yet flounders so mightily.2. The NY Times online gets tons of traffic so I think they just might be the one “newspaper” that can monetize their content if they do it properly. I read it exclusively online (web, iPhone, iPad) and if they charged I’d pay (within reason).

    1. Brad Dickason

      Aol has a very successful set of web logs that help keep it afloat. When I played WorldofWarcraft, for example, I went to daily. They really are perfecting the ‘cheap content’ machine.

    2. ShanaC

      They have a lot of sites that don’t say AOL AOL AOL on them that are per say nichey and cheap to run in things like fantasy sports…

      1. kirklove

        The WoW, About, and other domains feeding the stats for AOL and NY Times makes sense then.

    3. Rocky Agrawal

      IIRC, the NYT number includes a rollup of, which they own. I believe more than half the traffic attributed to NYT Digital is really traffic.

    4. Dave Pinsen

      The FT and the WSJ have already successfully monetized their content online, haven’t they?

      1. kirklove

        Yes, indeed. I was referring to more mainstream news sources and their struggles for online profitability. FT & WSJ are in a specialty niche category IMO (albeit a large and profitable one).The NYT iPad app for example is still non-existent (I’m not counting the extremely limited Editor’s Choice App). My guess is they won’t release a free iPad app – it will be a subscription like the WSJ. I’m not sure it will do well though. Still, I’d pay for it.

  13. Morgan Warstler

    Add this to the pile of proof:1. Broadband in the US is superior and not wanting enough to justify aiding Google with NN.2. The Internet is a testament to free market approaches, other sectors should use this to prove list to their case for less meddling.3. We must be vigilant that government continue to leave the Internet alone.4. We should be using these strengths to privatize and outsource information-based government functions (education, deposits, collections, etc) to save our country.5. Walt Mossberg is a horrible technologist.

    1. ShanaC

      south korea????

      1. Aaron Klein

        I was about to reply with the same question. I was in Seoul a few years ago and the hotel broadband was even good. 🙂

      2. Morgan Warstler

        ShanaC, it isn’t that I don’t know the claims, its that I spend time online with guys in South Korea and their web pages do not load faster.Frankly, it is a total misnomer – having a 50Mbps pipe doesn’t mean you get a faster web experience. It’s really about the last mile.More importantly their “speed” hasn’t translated into any kind of economic gain – see the list above.So if you have to get in bed with government for more “speed” – that’s a horrible price to bear.

        1. ShanaC

          that’s nice…but what does that have to do with their content missing. On average, the average upper middle class S. korean should have similar bandwidth to the US, so why do they have 0 websites represented? Why so low in Japan? It’s just strange. India I can sort of understand (they’re really building out a middle class now considering the size of India)It may be that fast broadband has little correlation with what content you will consume or where you will host (see wordpress)- that’s just bothering me. It’s odd to say “the rest of the world has dissapeared”besides, you should read Stiglitz- If I can get through a 1/3 of Whither Socialism? (Wicksell lectures, really difficult, dense, read, I have no idea what possessed me to try beyond that it is a good hard core read about information economics in large groupings) then so can you. And then you would know- because of automatic information disparity when we talk of large groupings in economies, the government can have positive effects, despite the fall of communism. The government can cause information to spread slightly more efficiently in certain situations…

          1. Morgan Warstler

            Stiglitz Externalities Everywhere is ridiculous, particularly in discussions about web technologies. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m not saying there isn’t value in government, you’ve got to get over that assumption.I’m saying THE MORE someone sees a place for government’s hand THE MORE they must accept whatever makes government productive – i.e. firing government workers, and replacing them with GOV2.0 platforms. Meaning, a fully automated and outsourced Food Stamp, Social Security, Education platform, etc. MEANS more money passes directly through to the “good cause,” and less money gets wasted on Public Employees. This is a nice tricky argument that happens to be true.——Why so low in other countries? I don’t think you get my point. The relative weakness of our government is the answer. We have in this country a super strong cowboy entrepreneurial attitude that literally terrifies elected officials. This “hands off” approach to our web economy over the past 15 years has built many billion dollar companies.This is why I keep saying here “more bandwidth” isn’t an answer to any real question.The real answer to any question in our space is “no more government,” it might be needed in some other sector, but not ours. OUR SECTOR needs to remake government.Which brings us back to Stiglitz, he’s a fool. Government has one crucial information space it basically owns – education.And that space is more fraught with barriers, friction, old technology, and imperfect economics than any information space – it is a joke.Anyone in favor of hacking education – wants to kick stiglitz in the nuts.

          2. raycote

            Education is one giant hot potato! Flaming government for not solving the complexities of socio-economic baggage inherent in the education system maybe a bit of a stretch.Challenging the accreditation monopoly that government grant to large post secondary educational institutions could go a long way to bring much better, much cheaper education systems online. Standards can be maintained via independent testing centers.

          3. ShanaC

            I tend to agree with Ray- I think he just writes less flamboyantly….

    2. raycote

      MorganI’m not so sure it is as simple as:Corporations good – Government badIf the citizenry want to preserve the power to focus their collective will/interests via democratic governance they need to seriously get down on the job of improving the mechanics of democratic governance.A society that abandons collective self regulation will soon be regulated by other forces.(think banking cartels here)This problem may not apply to the US political reality as I am speaking from a Canadian perspective?

      1. Morgan Warstler

        Ray, I agree. I’m not trying to be that simple.My ultimate point is that the web based start up community should be looking for our next big boom in GOV2.0.Replacing overpaid 9-5 government paper pushers with 24/7 web services could shave $500B (that’s a real number) a year off in Federal, State, and Local budgets, and if we kept $100B of that, we’d have a revenue source many multiples over online adverting.This is my real goal. So when I see lists like this, I see evidence that the American system as a whole is outperforming other countries in toto, and thus we should be applying more of the web to government, and not more government to the web.Lack of government has been the defining characteristic of the US Internet. I see this a proof.

        1. raycote

          Morgan – Sorry!I sort of over focused on your second point as being more general.”2. The Internet is a testament to free market approaches, other sectors should use this to prove list to their case for less meddling.”The populist mantra about cutting democratic governance out of the social control loop is a hot button for me dispute the horrendous incompetent mess that presently passes as legitimate democratic mechanism. We need a more distributed direct-participation form of democratic control , maybe we will get there by the time WEB 10.0 rolls around.I agree with your more specific focus of streamlining government info systems!

  14. Dan Ramsden

    Since we are really talking about advertising models here, is the export not actually the foreign ad buy on a U.S. web property? If so, that would probably be the truer export statisitc, no? And a related question: how would this reconcile to the ad chart posted a couple of days ago, showing online to comprise some 5% of the total? I wonder if that excludes international, and I wonder if the numbers are thus understated. If there are any economists or statisticians among us, some of these data would be interesting follow-up.

  15. RichardF

    Would love to see a revenue figure alongside the page views figure for each property. It would make that list far more meaningful to me.

  16. Bill Bishop

    it appears that comScore does not track internet usage from public locations (e.g. internet cafes) in China. if that is true these estimates certainly undercount overall activity from China, and makes one wonder about comscore’s overall credibility when it comes to international data. why issue a report like this that they know undercounts?

  17. ShanaC

    I find it largely interesting that a good chunk of these websites are content creation or consumption (wordpress, twitter, adobe, google)People are really really into doing something with content. They either are making it or consuming it by the internet tonnes….

  18. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

    WTF is a “property”?I’ve always said that domain names are web sites (locations), and that the codes stored there are websites (buildings). Now adding “properties” to the mix — is there a realtor in the house?!?;P nmw

  19. Jan Schultink

    Yes but:U.S. users are probably (still) more active (more pages per user) than international ones, so a high domestic consumptionOverseas sites are more fragmented (local ecommerce sites) and end up in the long tail, but as a whole generate more trafficPlatforms such as WordPress orginate in the U.S., the content written on them is created by users overseas, are these US sites?.Having said that, your conclusion will still hold in the end I think.

  20. Brad Dickason

    Comscore uses a ‘panel’ method of counting. Their methods of recruiting their panel include:Calling people and asking if they would like to sign up for an ‘internet survey’Sending letters in the mail asking people to sign up for an ‘internet survey’I wouldn’t imagine that their panels in other countries are anywhere near built out. The service generates most of its revenue from American companies paying to be listed in the service, as American media buyers use it as their sole metric to determine whether or not they should buy ads on a site/network.Their CEO touts their ‘panel’ tech as the best thing since sliced bread:

    1. ShanaC

      so it’s highly americanized…oy. However, we’ve been through the just logs method, we know we’re overcounting.

      1. Brad Dickason

        Agree, there seems to be a balance one way or another. I personally have a vendetta against comscore because:1) Our site traffic has remained the same according to Quantcast, Alexa, Compete, Google Analytics, and internal logs yet… our comscore fluctuated between 40k, 0, 500k+, and 160k over the course of four months.2) It’s a mafioso business model – “You have to pay us $30k/yr or you don’t show up as a network.” Of course there’s the option not to pay but every media buyer relies on it so you’re shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to ads.Anyway, the good news is that comscore is starting to do a hybrid method of tracking via their ‘pixel’/’beacon’ implementation. Unfortunately for now they show up in two separate places so the beacon data does not influence the panel data.

        1. Jeff Goodwin

          I dealt with this problem for years at my last company.One of the reasons you see such differences between your internal logs, Google Analytics, Quantcast, etc versus Comscore has to do with the type of users each is measuring (human users versus machines and cookies). Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for folks to throw them all in the same bucket for comparison purposes. This is a big mistake. I don’t know of any ‘panel’ model that is perfect, certainly it would be hard to make sense of the numbers you quote above for the last 4 months. As a general rule, though, just be careful not to disregard their data because it doesn’t jive with your server logs. You might miss out on some important insights that you wouldn’t have caught otherwise.

          1. Adrian Palacios

            i agree with your last point jeff. i think, although comscore might fluctuate a lot for an individual company, it’s important as a means to scope out the competition. avinash kaushik makes the argument that if you only look at one service, keep in mind that *all* the data from that service is reported equally as bad. meaning, if there is a trend, it’s still worth paying attention to. especially if that trend has to do with your competition.

        2. fredwilson

          There’s a hybrid report in comscore which shows panel plus pixel in one reportThe mafiaso thing is a bit unfair. They have costs to provide the data to everyone. They don’t sell data to ad targeters like quantcast does so they can’t provide stuff for free

          1. Brad Dickason

            Fred,Correct on the hybrid report. Unfortunately in the online ad world, noone seems to use it 🙁 Media planners are stuck on the panel (default) report. If Comscore switches to the hybrid for their default (which I fully endorse), the landscape will surely change for the better!And you’re correct, calling Comscore mafioso is a dramatization. I understand that they have costs but $30k+/yr per company for a US-only report seems ridiculous in today’s world of SaaS. I understand charging the people that USE the data (to pull reports and do ad spends), but I don’t like the idea of charging networks that want to sell ads*. The networks are making a buck at the end of the day so perhaps it’s all fair play(Note: I have been told that networks and other organizations that want to ‘roll up’ properties must pay comscore, but have not actually seen it in writing on Comscore’s site)

  21. ErikSchwartz

    eBay is still number 7? Do people not know how to reset their home page? That actually seems likely because is #12.Thank about that… The 12th most visited site on the internet based almost solely on users not knowing even the basics of how to operate a browser.

    1. RichardF

      Erik I’m thinking Mozilla is being counted rather than/as well as Google because the default firefox home page is http://en-US.start3.mozilla… which then forwards to a firefox branded google search page.Which if that is the case would seem to indicate that people are pretty happy to have Google as their homepage.

      1. vinniv

        Let’s also not forget that about 400 million people use Firefox, and are constantly downloading the browser from (as well as hundreds of millions of addon downloads)

    2. ShanaC

      I never bothered reseting mine. It’s not that I don’t know how- I just don’t know to what! And I suspect as more content gets created, that “hmmm” feeling is going to be more apparently.

      1. Aaron Klein

        now that is so much lighter weight, I think Fred is making a run at being your start page 😉

    3. Aviah Laor

      Mozilla home page is a search box. Didn’t find a need to change it to

      1. ErikSchwartz

        Good point. BTW, I never imagined this crowd didn’t know how to reset the home page. It also does not explain the ranking.

        1. Honest Abe

          all the people on computers all day long in AAPL stores everywhere! THAT IS ALL!

    4. Mark Essel

      Gotta fix browser defaults to Too much of the world is missing out on our snappy comments ;)The stats are definitely not what I expected given the broadband speeds. I guess founders here are drawn to the Net tech over alternatives.

    5. fredwilson

      I’m not surprised about that. What is surprising is how little they do with and for all that traffic. Applies to both mozilla and apple

  22. zerobeta

    Awesome post/conclusion. Who ever said a chief export has to be physical?

  23. LIAD

    using the same logic, you can probably add to the primary export list boring movies and bad music

  24. Andrew

    comScore’s universe is based on usage via home & work locations for users age 15+. So while it does not represent all usage, it is consistent across markets. But you are correct in noting that the major Chinese sites are going to be undercounted relative to brands in more developed markets.

  25. Evan

    if this blog is an indicator, you’re thinking more often recently about the future of media.

  26. Gopi

    All this big sites (like google) benefit from a low tax on their oversees income (with a ireland subsidary) but small/medium sized properties solely based in US (but with a considerable international traffic) pays high US tax. This is really unfair!.

  27. Joseph Sunga is #19. They’re the new MTV now (although, I don’t know what MTV is nowadays). It’s interesting that they’ve done so well, but I’m sure it clearly has to do with them being embedded into the Youtube experience.

  28. Vishal

    Even website hits follows the 80/20 rule..go figure

  29. jaymeydad

    I wonder what % of the large non-US publishers in each market are actually paying comScore the $10K / year fee and how does it compare to the % in the US.I have a feeling there is a big difference there and that explains the chart.

  30. Shadowlayer

    Indeed, maybe the government should be pouring money on this industry instead of the other deadpools out there.What your take Fred? taking DC’s money would be good or bad if that opportunity arose?

  31. Steven Kane

    great chartbut i wonder if that data is a trailing indicatorthe vast majority of those top 30 sites were born in web 1.0when the USA dominated the web for all sorts of reasonson the other hand, for nearly the entire history of the USA, culture has been amongst our largest exportsand while local or native entertainment/media thrives around the globe, american entertainment/media shows no signs of losing its leadership or global appealnot always a great thing, or a source of pride but i wouldnt have it otherwise

  32. AlexHektor

    Yeah, but how do uniques look in terms of revenue?How big is the industry and how big is its growth, especially compared to the other industries and countries..?