AOL Finance Catching Up To Yahoo! (YHOO): MSN Money Buried

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Based an analysis of highly detailed ComScore data cover the last five quarters, AOL Finance has virtually caught Yahoo! (YHOO) Finance as MSN Money (MSFT) has lost significant ground.

Among unique visitors, Yahoo! Finance still has a small lead over AOL. In July, the Yahoo! property had 12.4 million unique visitors to AOL’s 11.7 million. In the previous month both web destinations has about 10.7 million uniques. In July, MSN Money’s unique visitor pool was 10.2 million.

But, when pageviews are the measuring factor, Yahoo! Finance has lost tremendous market share. In May, June, and July of 2006, Yahoo! averaged about 475 million pageviews a month. AOL Finance averaged about 225 million and MSN Money 180 million. For June and July 2007, Yahoo! Finance pageviews have been just below 300 million and AOL Finance has been at about 250 million. MSN Money’s figure has dropped to 130 million. It may be that visits to Yahoo! Finance’s widely used message boards is dropping.

A look at total visits paints a similar picture. Yahoo! Finance averaged 65 million over the last two months (June and July) while AOL Finance was at about the same level. MSN Money lagged again with about 40 million unique visits.

At smaller financial websites Reuters has been losing pageviews over the last five quarters averaging almost 50 million pageviews in May and June of last year, dropping to about 15 million in the most recent two months. Dow Jones (DJ) has moved from an average of about 90 million to 55 million when comparing the same two periods. BusinessWeek online has also suffered audience erosion.

Douglas A. McIntyre