Keynote Competitive Research, the industry analysis group of Keynote Systems (Nasdaq: KEYN), today announced the results of its Super Bowl XLII 2008 Web site performance challenge which monitored the performance (responsiveness and reliability) of four leading mobile sports Web sites and 44 of the Super Bowl advertiser’s Web sites. While the four mobile Web sites demonstrated an unwavering victory, 12 Super Bowl advertisers fumbled under pressure encountering significant performance slowdowns and outages.
Keynote leveraged its globally distributed mobile test & measurement network to monitor the response time and availability of four mobile sports Web sites: ESPN (NYSE: DIS), Yahoo Sports (NASDAQ: YHOO), FOX Sports (NYSE: NWS) and CBS (NYSE: CBS). Neither availability nor performance on any of the four sites was affected before, during or after the game.
“We were both impressed and a little surprised by the performance of the four mobile Web sites,” said Shlomi Gian, director of mobile business development at Keynote. “The reliability and quality performance could also indicate that the sites were built to handle much higher traffic than what is currently generated by mobile users.”
Using Application Perspective 5.0, Keynote’s market–leading Web site performance measurement and monitoring service, the company found that approximately 25 percent of the Super Bowl advertiser’s Web sites experienced significant to major performance slowdowns and outages, including Budlight/Budwiser, Cars.com, Careerbuilder.com, Hyundai, NFL, Salesgenie.com and Unilever.
Just before the game, between 3:07 and 3:20 pm (PST) and then again from 7:28 to 7:49 pm (PST), both of Anheuser-Busch’s flagship Budlight and Budweiser sites encountered slowdowns and errors. While normal performance for these sites range between 3-5 seconds, during these times, performance slowed to as much as 50 seconds and in many cases reported errors to visitor’s Web browsers. These were also seen on Monday, February 4 between 5:40 to 5:50 am (PST) and 10:10 to 10:20 am (PST).
Cars.com saw performance slowdowns at 4:07 and 4:18 pm (PST). Download speeds were 200-300 percent slower and appeared to be due to the Web servers taking a long time to respond to download requests. The situation worsened between 5:30 and 6:00 pm (PST) where downloads, which normally take 4-5 seconds to complete, were taking as long as 50-60 seconds. Finally, while significant slowdowns or errors have ceased, data has shown an increase in performance variability that began on Monday around 10:00 am (PST).
On Super Bowl Sunday, Careerbuilder.com hummed right along without any hiccups. However, the morning after the game between 10:20 and 10:53 am (PST) Keynote tracked slowdowns in creating an initial connection to their site.
Hyundai took a few online hits between 5:45 and 6:00 pm (PST) and then again from 6:26 to 6:45 pm (PST). Download times took between 20 and 30 seconds, up from around three second prior.
The National Football League’s Web site did surprisingly well the week leading up to and throughout the game. Keynote noticed only some minor slowdowns between 4:40 and 4:52 pm (PST). However, the following morning, between 10:46 and 11:30 am (PST), Keynote saw significant performance slowdowns and some minor outages. Previous download times took around 6 seconds while during this time, downloads took as long as 20 to 60 seconds.
Salesgenie.com’s Web site encountered major performance slowdowns — taking as long as 10-18 seconds from 5 seconds — as well as some errors downloading key elements on its Web site. These issues were seen between 1:30 and 2:00 pm (PST), 3:49 and 4:20 pm (PST), 5:35 and 6:24 pm (PST), and 7:21 and 8:35 pm (PST). Additionally, around 5:30 am (PST) on Monday, February 4, Keynote saw major slowdowns; albeit, at a lower scale.
Unilever, the maker of many domestic products, found its main home page slow down by as much as 500%, from 6 seconds to as long as 40 seconds. These issues were isolated between 4:01 and 4:30 pm (PST), 6:43 and 6:51 pm (PST), and 7:51 and 8:04 (PST). Interestingly, beginning around 2:45 am (PST) on Monday, some of these performance and availability issues continued. These performance slowdowns appear to be isolated incidents in making the first initial connection to the company’s Web server(s).
Keynote began collecting Super Bowl advertiser Web site performance data on Friday, February 1, 2008. The advertisers’ Web sites are being measured every fifteen minutes from 35 locations in 10 U.S. cities until Wednesday, February 6, 2008, providing an up-to-the-minute barometer of the online experience of the Super Bowl advertisers’ Web sites. Additional companies monitored include: Audi of America, Bridgestone Firestone North America, Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: CCE), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), E*TRADE (NASDAQ: ETFC), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), Frito Lay, Gatorade, Garmin GPS (NASDAQ: GRMN), General Motors (NYSE: GM), GoDaddy.com, Hershey (NYSE: HSY), Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT), New Line, Paramount Pictures (NYSE: VIA.B), Pepsi-Cola North America (NYSE: PEP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Sony Pictures (NYSE: SNE), Taco Bell, T-Mobile, Toshiba, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Universal Pictures, Under Armour (NYSE: UA), Victoria’s Secret (NYSE: LTD), Warner Brothers, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DI) and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Keynote Systems (Nasdaq: KEYN) is the global leader in on-demand test & measurement solutions for continuously improving the online experience. As an independent and trusted third-party, Keynote provides IT and marketing executives with an unbiased view into their Internet services from around the world. For over a decade, Keynote has been providing measurement data and testing capabilities that allow companies to understand and improve their customers’ online and mobile experience. Keynote has four test and measurement businesses: Web performance, mobile quality, streaming & VoIP, and customer experience/UX. In addition, Keynote’s industry analysis group called Keynote Competitive Research publishes proprietary studies measuring customer experience and service levels across a wide range of industries.
Known as The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™, Keynote has a market-leading infrastructure of 2,400 measurement computers and mobile devices in over 240 locations around the world. Keynote also maintains one of the most representative panels of online users consisting of 160,000 consumers. Keynote’s on-demand, hassle-free infrastructure allows businesses to access services they need, when they need them to pinpoint and fix mobile quality and Internet problems before they impact customers.
Keynote helps over 2,700 corporate customers become “the best of the best” by helping them improve online business performance and mobile communications quality. Keynote’s customers represent top Internet and mobile companies including American Express, BP, Caterpillar, Dell, Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, FedEx, Microsoft, SonyEricsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone.
Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at www.keynote.com or by phone in the U.S. at (650) 403-2400.
Keynote, The Internet Performance Authority and Perspective are registered trademarks and The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority and True Experience are trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2007 Keynote Systems, Inc.