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Google Owns Video World
January 18, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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Ratings might be down for American Idol on that crazy vacuum tube device that people call television, but it’s alive and well on the Internet. Frustrated with the comparatively poor quality of a standard TV experience, more people are heading online to watch their favorite shows. With the writer’s strike in full gear and quality entertainment at a premium, the Internet’s role as an alternative video source is accelerating.

American Idol’s usual stratospheric ratings were more troposphere for season 7, as 4 million fewer views tuned into the show. In some ways, this makes sense as fewer people in general are watching TV. However, the news isn’t all that terrible for American Idol, as season 7 holds three top positions on YouTube (numbers 9, 10, and 12) for today’s top videos.

As people begin to shift away from TV as their primary source of entertainment, it’s not so much a question of if the Internet is taking over that role, but rather where people are specifically going. Comscore, who keeps busy by collecting and analyzing data, revealed that not only is Google (parent company of YouTube) the top online video destination, its already commanding lead is growing.

Out of the nearly 9.5 billion videos watched in November, nearly 3 billion (31%) of those were viewed on Google. To put this number in perspective, iTunes has managed to sell over 3 billion tracks in 3.5 years. In other words, it only takes 1 month for Google (YouTube) to generate an identical population to that of iTunes. But modesty and success often have to go hand in hand in this new era of digital entertainment.

A distant second place goes to Fox Interactive Media (parent of MySpace), who only managed to generate about 420 million views in the month of November 2007. The numbers bottom out from there, with no distributor coming even close to Google. Yahoo! can be considered competitive for 2nd place, as they trail Fox by ~ 100 million views.

As if Google weren’t already in a comfortable spot, they also command total unique viewership as well. Despite the overwhelming popularity of MySpace, Fox Interactive Media again was in second place, but with a bit more guile compared to total viewership. According to Comscore, nearly 46 million visitors traversed Fox Media sites. However this was still a distant second to Google’s 76 million unique visitors.

Despite the impressive popularity of MySpace, it still isn’t nearly enough to upset the balance away from Google. Its lead grew by two percent from October 2007 with little slowdown in sight. The digital age of entertainment is here, and content is being produced and watched from places where the writer’s strike is but a distant headline.

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Technology News :: Software

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