youtube_logo.gifYouTube is powering ahead in the battle for traffic amongst the on-demand video market. Statistics from a Hitwise article show that from January to May the market share of visits to YouTube rose 70 percent. This impressive increase has come during a time of increased competition and aggressive lawsuits.

Amongst the other contenders for the top crown, the next closest site was MySpace Video, according to the survey, with about 16 percent of the market.

YouTube Then the Others

Google’s YouTube as of May, 2007 controls over 60 percent of the video market according to the Hitwise data via Yahoo!. The remaining top 64 video sites are actually nowhere near Google’s little buddy and YouTube actually has a 50 percent greater market share than all the other sites combined.

Recent legal issues have caused the Web’s premier (I actually said that?) video site to pull many hotly contested videos from their digital shelves as Viacom and Britain’s Premier Soccer League apply the legal pressure.

The Crumbs

Lining up behind the video giant, the rest of the field seems to be just picking up the crumbs left over and are disposed as follows: MySpace Video – 16.08 percent, Google Video – 7.81 percent, Yahoo! Video – 2.77 percent, MSN – 2.09 percent with startup Metacafe at number 8 with 1.07 percent.

AOL and my real favorite Veoh rounded out the top 10 with 0.94 percent and 0.86 percent respectively.

These numbers do not reflect the most recent developments of course but they are still rather daunting for any site entering this venue. Yahoo! and MSN in particular must be about ready to pull out their fingernails as nothing they try seems to make a dent in YouTube’s total dominance.

Great White Hope

Is there a great white hope on the horizon to overtake Youtube? Not likely, as most of the really fine video applications such as Joost and Veoh are gearing more towards Internet TV, meaning Youtube essentially has not direct competitors.

Most of the startups I have tested lately simply use YouTube’s APIs to aggregate video and so do not really compete with them so much as utilize them. Only some combination of lawsuits, more Google goofs and another site coming up with an “end all” application could really threaten YouTube at this point.

I never thought I would say that but anything this impressive has to be acknowledged sooner or later.

Fig. 1. The ugly truth of supremacy. Chart courtesy of Hitwise.

Hitwise Chart

Phil Butler is a contributing author discussing the social networking world, his work can be found on Profy.com

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