Over the weekend comScore Networks released a market research report (pdf) on the growth and scale of the blogosphere. The report was unique in its methodology. Rather than extrapolate from a self-selecting sample of users that may or may not realize they are visiting a blog, comScore’s survey and measured actual behaviors of its permission-based panel of over 2 million internet users. Full disclosure, the report was co-sponsored by my employer, Six Apart.

Some highlights:

  • 50 million or 1 out of 6 Americans visited a blog during the first quarter of 2005
  • Blog readership has grown 45% over the past year
  • Blog readers are more likely to purchase online than average internet users
  • Blog readers are more likely to come from wealthier households

Nick Denton of Gawker Media (the other sponsor of the study) expands on the last point.

There’s only one measurement that matters, however, to media buyers at the ad agencies. comScore found that, while 37% of internet users had annual household income in excess of $75,000, 41% of blog readers were in that top band.

That may not sound like much of a difference. But based on their age profile alone, one would expect blog readers to be poorer: 32% are between 18 and 34, compared with 24% of the general internet population. Youth, with wealth, is, to advertisers, a rare and desirable combination.

Coverage by MarketWatch here.
Coverage by Red Herring here.
Coverage by MediaWeek here.