ComScore, the well-known American Internet marketing research company, has for the first time shown interest in the Polish Internet. Several days ago they published the results of their research report done with comScore’s tool Media Metrix, presenting a wide view of the Polish Internet industry as of August 2010. Until then the true monopolist in the field of studying the Polish Internet was the Polish company PBI (Polskie Badania Internetu), or – to be precise – the company Gemius doing the research on their behalf. comScore’s report partly bears out Gemius’s data but at some points they diverge. It also enters some of the so far unexplored areas.
One of them is the information about Polish users’ habits of using Google. The report shows that Poles are the nation that uses Google more often than any other examined European country. That means that the Polish user conducts on average 157 searches in a month, while the number for UK ranking second on the list is 144, and for Sweden, who came in tenth position, only 112.
The research also shows that there are 17.8 mln users in the age group of 15+ in Poland. With 97% of its users using this particular search engine at least once a month, equalling the absolute number of 17.2 milion people, Poland turns out to be one of the countries where Google holds a dominant position. With such a result, Google obviously comes first in the sites popularity ranking in Poland.
You would be wrong, however, to conclude that foreign players adapt easily to the Polish market; Google serves here rather as a kind of an exception to the rule. Sites that come second in the ranking belong to MIH Limited. The company actually belongs to the South African media group Naspers, but all its sites have been originally developed in Poland by Polish companies, only to be later taken over by Naspers. They include the absolute leader of Polish e-commerce – the auction site Allegro, the biggest Polish instant messenger Gadu-Gadu, and the second largest Polish economic vortal bankier.pl.
The third position is occupied by nk.pl (earlier nasza-klasa.pl), the social networking site still outperforming Facebook in Poland. It it importan however that at least since the beginning of the year the growth dynamics of Facebook in Poland are much higher than those of nk.pl and the distance between the two sites is slowly decreasing. nk.pl is an example of organic growth of a small business set up by students from Wrocław and later taken over by the Estonian investment fund Forticom. Forticom in turn until only recently belonged to the Russian company Digital Sky Technologies, known mainly as a Facebook, Zynga, ICQ or Groupon investor.
The following three positions are held by portals, two of which date back to the beginnings of the Polish Internet: onet.pl, which belongs to the ITI group, the owner of the biggest Polish commercial TV station TVN and Multikino cinema network among others, and wp.pl owned by the biggest Polish telecommunications operator TP, until recently the monopolist on the Polish telco market. The third of the them, o2.pl, still belonging to their original owners, is known for its rather light, gossipy content.
In general, only three other foreign brands apart from Google, Wikipedia and Facebook found their way into the TOP 20: AOL, VEVO and Microsoft sites. As many Polish comentators point out, the appearance of the first two names in the ranking is rather a result of the survey’s imperfection as according to other independent sources they remain niche sites.
In their first report on the Polish Internet market, comScore was not entirely successful in avoiding mistakes, which probably resulted mainly from poor knowledge of financial and functional connections between sites. The Polish Internet is now hoping for a more committed and regular interest of the company in Poland, which would help break the research monopoly of PBI whose studies are not always prefect.