Friday, June 29, 2007

YouTube still has more visitors than rival sites combined

YouTube, which has had to pull copyrighted videos off its site after legal attacks by some big media franchises, has enjoyed a surge in U.S. audience share that leaves it far larger than the next 64 video-sharing sites combined, a survey found.

The U.S. market share of visits to YouTube, which Google bought for $1.65 billion last November, rose 70% from January through May, online audience measurement firm Hitwise Inc. said in the survey published Wednesday.

By contrast, visits to the next 64 largest sites tracked by Hitwise rose only 8% during 2007's first five months.

"As of May 2007, YouTube's market share was 50% greater than those 64 sites combined," Hitwise research director LeeAnn Prescott said in a summary of her firm's data.

YouTube's share of the U.S. online video market was 60.2% in May, according to Hitwise. Its closest rival, News Corp.'s MySpace Videos site, had 16.08% of market share, the survey of Web surfing habits showed.

YouTube's sister site, Google Video, held 7.81%, while Yahoo had 2.77% and Microsoft's MSN, 2.09%, according to the study.

Start-up Metacafe ranked No. 8 in U.S. visitors to video sites with 1.07%, Time Warner's AOL Media had 0.94% and Veoh was No. 10 at 0.86%, Hitwise said.

Viacom filed a copyright infringement suit against YouTube in March seeking more than $1 billion in damages and demanded that YouTube take down thousands of segments from its popular programs, including The Daily Show with John Stewart, The Colbert Report and South Park.

read the whole article on usatoday

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