Final Christmas Push Propels U.S. Online Holiday Spending to $35.3 Billion, Up 15 Percent Versus Last Year

Christmas Day Sees Significant Spike in Digital Content & Subscription Sales as Consumers Load Up New Tablets, e-Readers and Music Devices

RESTON, VA, December 28, 2011 – comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 56 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $35.3 billion has been spent online, marking a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week (ending Dec. 25) witnessed $2.8 billion in spending, an increase of 16 percent versus the corresponding week last year.

2011 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2010
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Millions ($)
2010 2011 Percent Change
November 1 – December 26 $30,591 $35,274 15%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) $407 $479 18%
Black Friday (Nov. 25) $648 $816 26%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26-27) $886 $1,031 16%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) $1,028 $1,251 22%
Green Monday (Dec. 12) $954 $1,133 19%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16) $942 $1,072 14%
Week Ending Dec. 25 $2,450 $2,831 16%

*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 2 thru December 27, 2010)

“Holiday e-commerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “We can now say with certainty that the $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday will rank it as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second consecutive year, but we should also note that it was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year.”

Christmas Day Sees Huge Spike in Digital Content & Subscription Sales

One of the interesting e-commerce phenomena occurring over the past several years is the dramatic increase in Christmas Day purchases of Digital Content & Subscriptions, a retail category that includes digital downloads of music, TV, movies, e-books and apps. Not surprisingly, as many consumers get new smartphones, tablets, e-readers and digital content gift certificates for Christmas, they spend Christmas Day loading up their devices with new content.

On an average day during the 2011 holiday season-to-date (Nov. 1 – Dec. 26), Digital Content & Subscriptions accounted for 2.8 percent of retail e-commerce sales, but on Christmas Day the category accounted for more than 20 percent of sales. Consistent with past years, comScore expects sales for this category of products to remain elevated throughout the entire week following Christmas Day.

Weekly Online Holiday Retail Sales

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit

Andrew Lipsman
Vice President, Industry Analysis
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510


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ComScore: Android, iOS combine for 75% of U.S. smartphone market

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS extended their dominance over the U.S. mobile market in November 2011 and now power a combined 75.6 percent of all smartphones nationwide according to new data published by digital research firm comScore.

Click here to see the changes in smartphone OS market shares during the past three years.

Smartphone ownership in the U.S. market reached 91.4 million in November 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period. Android devices make up 46.9 percent of all smartphones across the United States, up 3.1 percentage points since August 2011, comScore reports. iOS was the only other mobile platform to exhibit growth during the period, increasing 1.4 percentage points over August to capture 28.7 percent of the national smartphone segment.

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Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry continues its slide, dropping another 3.1 percentage points between August and November to make up 16.6 percent of the market. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone platform fell from 5.7 percent in August to 5.2 percent in November, and Symbian slipped from 1.8 percent to 1.5 percent.

ComScore reports that 72.6 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers sent text messages in November, up from 70.5 percent in August. In addition, 44.9 percent of subscribers used downloaded apps (up from 41.6 percent), 29.7 percent played mobile games (up from 28.5 percent) and 33.0 percent accessed social networking sites or blogs (up from 30.9 percent).


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Social media

Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”[1] Social media is media for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.[2]


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Web service

Web service is a method of communication between two electronic devices over the web.

The W3C defines a “Web service” as “a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network“. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically Web Services Description Language, known by the acronym WSDL). Other systems interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other Web-related standards.”[1]

The W3C also states, “We can identify two major classes of Web services, REST-compliant Web services, in which the primary purpose of the service is to manipulate XML representations of Web resources using a uniform set of “stateless” operations; and arbitrary Web services, in which the service may expose an arbitrary set of operations.”[2]


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Social networking

social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, who, for example, share interests and/or activities. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messagingOnline community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. It is also used in today’s modern times to meet new people and form relationships such as dating.[citation needed]

The main types of social networking services are those that contain category places (such as former school year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook and Twitter widely used worldwide, The Sphere (luxury network), Nexopia (mostly in Canada);[1] Bebo,[2]VKontakteHi5Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), (mostly in Latvia), StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Nasza-Klasa (mostly in Poland), Decayenne,TaggedXING,[3] Badoo[4] and Skyrock in parts of Europe;[5] Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America;[6] and MixiMultiplyOrkutWretchrenren and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are very popular in India and Pakistan.

There have been attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative). A 2011 survey found that 47% of American adults use a social network.[7]


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blog (a blend of the term web log)[1] is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Although not a must, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.[2] In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.[3]

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; yet still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging or vlogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.[4]


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Content networks

content network, such as those at Google or Yahoo! Contextual Search, are advertisements served on web pages next to the content containing the keywords being bid on. Content networks are also known as content ads and contextual networks, but are a form of paid inclusion that is more like cost per thousand than cost per click styles of advertisement. Instead of paying for the ad every time a visitor clicks on the link, the cost is calculated by how many times the ad is viewed on a particular web page. A content network ad differs from cost per thousand though because the advertisements that appear adjacent from search results are tied to particular keywords that have been bid upon by the advertiser.

Many advertisers are more interested in content network ads because they are more like the traditional advertisements that people are used to. Instead of being pop up ads or banners on top of a web page, they are composed to be more like advertisements that are found in newspapers and magazines, as well as other print mediums. This traditional sense of advertisement is attention grabbing on the Internet, and makes advertisers that are new to the field of paid inclusion feel more secure in the decision that has been made. Using a content network ad can also be a good way for small businesses to get started in paid inclusion advertising.

Utilizing content network advertisements through search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are an excellent way to connect ads with keywords and search engine optimization. Advertisers can bid on a number of lesser-used keywords and still get similar results, as they are working on a cost per thousand rate. Using content network ads can also be a good way to test out paid inclusion, so that companies that are not sure if they want to use this sort of advertising can spend a smaller amount of their publicity budget.


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