Since the launch of the Zune less than a month ago, It's been curious to see how Microsoft's new mp3 player compares against the iPod. A chart of search volume for 'ipod' and 'zune' shows that the share of searches for 'ipod' was 3X greater than the share of searches for 'zune' for the week ending 12/9/06. Not bad for a product that's only been on shelves for three weeks.
But how are people searching for 'zune' versus 'ipod' and what does that tell us? The Hitwise Search Term Suggestion report for the two products shows an enormous delta in related terms - there were over 9,062 search terms captured by Hitwise containing 'ipod' in the last 4 weeks, compared to 666 for 'zune.' Certainly, iPod has several years behind it, and a complete line of products and accessories. However, three of the top 10 search terms containing 'zune' are looking for reviews or iPod comparisons, which would be expected for a new product.
The sites that people go to after conducting a search give another indication of consumer mindset (i.e., John Battelle's Database of Intentions). Search term analysis for 'zune' shows that people are more likely to be looking for information on the Zune than going to a retail site to purchase it, with only three retailers in the list of top 10 terms receiving traffic from 'zune.' In contrast, nine of the top 10 sites receiving traffic from 'ipod' were retail sites. Another unique Hitwise feature that can be used to determine the interest in a product is the ability to chart a term's share of searches in terms of visits sent to sites within a specific category. Charting the share of searches that 'ipod' and 'zune' sent to the Shopping & Classifieds category revealed that last week 'ipod' sent 10X more visits to Shopping & Classifieds category than 'zune' - certainly not as positive as our 3X number above.