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MySpace.com vs YouTube : Online Video Wars

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MySpace.com vs YouTube : Online Video Wars

MySpace.com vs YouTube : Online Video Wars

MySpace and YouTube are beginning to duke it out over which site serves the most online videos and according to a couple of recent studies, it is still undecided which site streams the most content.

Yahoo Video and Google Video are both fairly active in the online video market, but the core video offerings of MySpace and YouTube have given both companies foundations to build upon.

Today Bambi Francisco quoted a recent comScore Media Metrix study which reported that 37.4 million unique individuals watched a video on MySpace in July, counting for 1.4 billion videos streamed on MySpace.

Second was Yahoo, with 812 million video streams and coming in third was YouTube with 649 video streams.

Bambi added :

So dominant is MySpace that it accounts for 20% of the 7.2 billion video streams across the Web. Not bad, considering that MySpace launched its video service not even six months ago. And, not bad considering that video is the new frontier, accounting for roughly 2% of online advertising.

Just to be clear, there is no double counting, according to comScore. MySpace’s figures do not include YouTube videos viewed on MySpace. The views are only of the site’s own videos viewed either on their property or embedded across the Web on blogs or on distribution partners. So, YouTube’s 649 million video streams count the videos viewed on YouTube as well as blogs that might have embedded a YouTube video.

So, no double counting going on but what about behavioral counting?

Videos are usually shown via default on MySpace and posted on user profiles. Meaning that if MySpace users visit the profiles of their friends 5 or 10 times a day, and videos on such profiles automatically begin when the user visits the profile, MySpace is streaming video which the end user did not really choose to watch.

In contrast, YouTube users do not view videos via profiles (unless of course they are viewing such videos embedded on MySpace) and the YouTube videos have to be selected to begin playing by hitting a play button.

YouTube videos are usually found when users search for specific keywords in YouTube or are introduced to a syndicated YouTube video within a separate web site or blog post.

Yahoo on the other hand is a media company, so they should rank highly in the world of streaming video. Such videos, however, may not all be uploaded by users such as the videos at MySpace or YouTube (or the majority of them), so what I’d like to see as an analyst are the number of streaming videos from Video.Yahoo.com and not the entire Yahoo Empire.

Which brings us to a separate study quoted by Greg Sterling today. Greg reminds us that a Hitwise study in August showed that YouTube is far above the pack in ‘share of visits.’

But recent (August) Hitwise data reflects the following in terms of rankings (based on share of visits):

* YouTube: 45.46%
* MySpace Videos: 22.99%
* Google Video: 10.25%
* Yahoo! Video: 6.06%
* MSN Video: 5.92%

In this apples to oranges comparison, I believe the difference is user intent. If I visit MySpace, I may not intend to view videos, but they are served to me by MySpace members and bands on their profiles. If I visit Yahoo, my intent may be to watch multimedia news, but it is news provided by Yahoo Media partners.

On YouTube my intent is to search and view videos created or burnt and uploaded by normal people and YouTube users (as well as some content partners), so the big winner in the online video comparison battle seems to be dependant upon whether the study is focusing on user uploaded videos, video streams, or why the user is viewing the video in the first place.

Regardless, Google, Yahoo and MSN still trail behind newcomers MySpace and YouTube in one or more studies, which should have the major media outlets and search engines looking for ways to plan to do battle with these new media outlets.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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