Nielsen ranks Top 10’s of 2013: Digital

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NielsenLooking at consumers’ online activity in 2013, digital media had another banner year in 2013, and some of this year’s trends may provide some clues as to what may lay ahead next year. As more Web users shift to mobile and tablet screens, Web activity using computer browsers declined slightly among the top 10 websites. Online video viewing, however, continued to grow, and YouTube remained the top source for streaming, as 128 million Americans viewed video content on the site each month.


Smartphone penetration grew from 56 percent at the start of 2013 to nearly two-thirds (65%) of U.S. mobile subscribers by October 2013, and a majority of subscribers used Android (52%) or iOS (41%) smartphones. Along with growing ownership came increased activity using smartphone apps: Facebook remained the most-used smartphone app across Android and iOS handsets, with more than 103 million unique users each month. Among the top 10 apps, Instagram was up 66 percent in terms of unique users, making it the fastest growing app over the past year.

Top 10 U.S. Web Brands for 2013

Rank Web Brand Avg Unique Audience YoY % Change
1 Google 164,805,000 -6%
2 Facebook 134,943,000 -16%
3 Yahoo 129,801,000 -9%
4 MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 121,031,000 -2%
5 YouTube 119,242,000 -14%
6 Microsoft 83,039,000 -6%
7 AOL Media Network 81,037,000 -7%
8 Amazon 79,673,000 -1%
9 Wikipedia 72,591,000 -6%
10 Ask Search Network 64,249,000 -18%
Data from January 2013 – October 2013 (Total). Ranked on average monthly unique audience.
Read as: During 2013, 164.8 million unique U.S. people, on average, visited Google each month.
Source: Nielsen.

Top 10 U.S. Online Video Brands of 2013

Rank Site Avg Unique Viewers YoY % Change
1 YouTube 128,436,000 -6%
2 VEVO 37,209,000 -9%
3 Yahoo 35,412,000 -8%
4 AOL Media Network 26,448,000 5%
5 MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 19,784,000 6%
6 The CollegeHumor Network 18,351,000 -6%
7 Perform Group 15,978,000 58%
8 Hulu 13,117,000 -2%
9 ESPN Digital Network 12,644,000 4%
10 Netflix 11,946,000 1%
Data from January – October 2013 (Total). Ranked on average monthly unique viewers.
Read as: During 2013, 128 million unique U.S. people, on average, streamed video from YouTube each month.
Source: Nielsen.

Top Smartphone Apps of 2013

Rank App Avg Unique Users YoY % Change
1 Facebook 103,420,000 27%
2 Google Search 75,984,000 37%
3 Google Play 73,667,000 28%
4 YouTube 71,962,000 27%
5 Google Maps 68,580,000 14%
6 Gmail 64,408,000 29%
7 Instagram 31,992,000 66%
8 Maps(Apple) 31,891,000 64%
9 Stocks 30,781,000 32%
10 Twitter 30,760,000 36%
Data from January – October 2013, among smartphone owners 18+ (iOS and Android only). Ranked by average monthly unique users.
Read as: During 2013 103 million smartphone owners used the Google Search app on average each month.
Source: Nielsen.
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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.