For the first time, according to the Media Metrix Audience Ratings Report for April, a non-US digital media property has achieved an audience reach of more than 70 per cent.
The report places ninemsn, a Web portal launched by Microsoft and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, in the top position with an audience reach of 70.5 per cent, ahead of second placed AOL, with an audience reach of 54.7 per cent.
"The depth and range of content utilities that ninemsn and Microsoft have attracts a broader section of Internet users", which, according to Jude Stupples, ninemsn's communications manager, is the reason for the 15.8 per cent difference.
The advantage of its hold on the number one position on the report's Top 25 Digital Media Property, Stupples believes, enables ninemsn to "service a wide range of advertisers and look at large portal deals, and allows us to offer our customers the best retailer deals".
Although AOL has been second to ninemsn for several months, it views these results positively, David Packman, AOL's communications manager, said. "Our challenge is to continually provide Australians with the easiest and most convenient online experience. We are extremely pleased with these results as it shows we are achieving this goal."
Another first for the April Audience Ratings Report is the debut of AFL.com.au at number 22. This is the first time a specialist sports site has achieved Top 25 status.
"It's obvious that Australians' passion for sport and the onset of the football season has helped drive the popularity of this site. It will be interesting to monitor the seasonality of not only this specific site, but others that may evolve in this vein," said Media Metrix's chief executive, David Stewart-Hunter.