Real estate property search site, the Fairfax Media-owned Domain Group, has debunked claims published on B&T yesterday that it had substantially lost ground to its arch rival, the News Limited owned Realesate.com.au.
Realestate.com.au cited Roy Morgan research that it said showed 3.5 million Australians had accessed its site in the six months to December 2014. During the same time it claimed rival Domain’s audience had dropped 100,000 to 1.8million.
Domain Group categorically denies the claims made by Realestate.com.au and today issued a statement via its director of communications , John Hine. It read:
“Roy Morgan has published a report suggesting a decline in the active user base of Domain’s desktop and mobile platforms. The Roy Morgan report is based on a telephone survey of a sample of Australians over the age of 14.
Domain Group tracks usage of its sites using industry-recognised web analytic tools – including Nielsen Online Ratings – Hybrid, for desktop and mobile site, and Google Analytics for mobile apps. The data clearly shows:
- Average monthly users for Domain mobile apps increased 17% year on year in the six months to 31 December 2014; and
- Average monthly unique audience for desktop and mobile site increased 9% year on year during the same period.
Domain Group, like its peers in the digital media industry, publishes usage data using web analytic tools such as Nielsen and Google – not recall-based telephone surveys which are a flawed and outdated methodology. Roy Morgan is using a quill and inkwell approach in the digital age.
Further, Roy Morgan failed to disclose a commercial relationship with REA Group when the report was published, which is very disappointing and raises questions about its conclusions.