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January 07, 2008

Zune, iTunes Sites Get Christmas Day Traffic Boosts

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Traffic to Web sites for particular media player devices, and related software downloads, saw a significant increase during the 2007 holiday season.
Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Zune Web site, for example, experienced a 299 percent traffic increase on Christmas Day compared to the same day in 2006, TechwebNews.com reported, citing figures from Hitwise. Account signups and software downloads were also up.

The clear winner in attracting users was Apple’s (News - Alert) iPod Web site. The number of people who visited that site, TechwebNews.com said in its report, was six times the traffic Zune received.
The Apple Store Web site ranked ninth on Hitwise's list of most visited retail sites on Christmas Day. One week before Christmas, Amazon.com (News - Alert) was the most-visited Web site in the retail index, as it attracted 12 percent of U.S. online retail traffic, TechwebNews.com said. In second place was the Wal-Mart’s Web site with 8 percent.
Web sites like Shopping.com, Dell (News - Alert).com, and Macys.com saw the largest increases in traffic during the Christmas week compared with the week before, with jumps of 34 percent, 18 percent, and 18 percent, respectively.
“Although the Nintendo Wii was the most-talked-about product during the holiday season, MP3 players were also very popular as Christmas gifts,” the TechwebNews.com report quoted Heather Dougherty, director of research at Hitwise, as saying. “This year the Zune has captured interest from music listeners with a new line of redesigned players and discounted older models, while the popularity of iPods continued to drive traffic to the Apple Store and iTunes Web site.”
Retailers expected online shopping to increase two days before Christmas, but Hitwise figures cited in the TechwebNews.com report indicated traffic to retail Web sites dropped during the week ending December 22, 2007, compared with the previous week. Overall, U.S. retail traffic rose 16 percent during Christmas week compared with the week ending December 23, 2006.

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Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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