comScore, a leading research firm that covers internet traffic, reported that Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google had the largest audience of any internet company in May. With mobile and desktop traffic combined, its monthly unique visitors were 241 million. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was second at 203 million.
Google and Facebook are not only the largest sites. They also dominate the industry in terms of ad sales dollars. Their growth continues to squeeze sales at almost all other large websites that rely on the ad industry and, based on current trends, their dominance is growing.
In third place, based on unique visitors, the Yahoo sites were at 191 million. Its ad sales have trended mostly downward for years. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) recently bought the Yahoo assets for $4.5 billion. They will be married with another set of Verizon web properties that also have a huge audience. AOL sits at seventh on the comScore list with 157 million unique visitors. The combination of Yahoo and AOL has a new corporate name: Oath.
The fourth largest web properties are those owned by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), which include the MSN portal. The total audience of the Microsoft sites was 183 million in June. Fifth among audience based on unique visitors in June, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) had a visitor base of 181 million. The figure is an indication of why Amazon rules the e-commerce market.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is another large site devoted heavily to e-commerce. Its unique visitors in May were 142 million.
Three media companies rounded out comScore’s top 10. Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBCUniversal took sixth place with 164 million unique visitors in May. It owns the NBC properties, MSNBC and CNBC. In eight place was TV company CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) with 154 million unique visitors. The tenth spot was Time digital properties with a combined audience of 128 million. Ironically, Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) has struggled as a public company because digital revenue cannot offset drops in print sales.
A search company, a social network, e-commerce and media companies dominate the comScore list. Among the four categories, three are healthy, with media scratching for revenue as it falls.