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I presume that the 7.5% isn't related to their search traffic reach, but to the number of people who visit any of their websites. Pop Idol isn't going to be short of a few hits.
It is very much like the BBC site - they get lots of traffic, but not a huge number of web searches.
It is very far from the BBC site, very very far from the number of users and very very very far in the number of searches.
Its a PR spin no more, no less. I know back bedroom adsense publishers who create more revenue that ITV search ever will.
The BBC launched themselves as a primary search facility, but it never really took off. I imagine that without something similar from ITV, the amount of traffic that they will add to Espotting will be extremely limited.
Still, a big name brand is always useful to pull in more advertisers.
"ITV reaches 7.5% of all UK internet users"
Really. I didn't realize ITV was so large.
What they did, how long they spent there or if they searched is irrelevant, fact is ITV reached those users (hehe).
It is how MSN has a better market coverage than Google, but sends less referrals. Especially in the good old days, every one who ever typed in a wrong URL or word in the address bar of IE got to MSN. That is a pretty high percentage of internet users.
In terms of what a deal between eSpotting and ITV means to others, probably not very much.