Coupon Site Leads DTV Searches

Traffic to NTIA's subsidy program site skewing older and lower income populations
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The National Telecommunications & Information Administration's Web site about the DTV-to-analog converter box subsidy program www.dtv2009.gov, has gotten the most traffic of any of the DTV info Web sites, according to Web research company Hitwise.

The company says that the traffic to that site is skewing older and lower income, both of which were target populations expected to need extra help in the switch from analog to digital.

Hitwise says the traffic spiked the week ending Jan. 3, which would make sense because NTIA was urging viewers to apply for their coupons by Dec. 31 to insure they had enough time to "buy and try" them before the Feb. 17 deadline, which has since been moved to June 12.

Over half the visits to the site were from households earning less than $60,000, said Hitwise, while a quarter were from surfers 55-plus.

While hits to the NTIA site have declined in the past few weeks, when the coupon program was effectively stalled by an accounting issue that prevented new coupons from being processed in any quantity, Hitwise says it was attracting a lot of renewed interest, with 72% of the surfers making their first visit in at least 30 days.

After NTIA's sites, the FCC's home site go the most traffic, though that would include more than just DTV inquiries, followed by www.dtv.gov, the FCC's subsite, and www.dtvanswers.com, the NAB site.

Hitwise Research Director Heather Dougherty says the above information was based on its survey of hits to more than a million Web sites, with the data on age and income based on a demographic subset of about 2.5 million.

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