YouTube‘s growth has not begun to slow yet this year. Hitwise traffic data shows that the market share of US visits to YouTube has increased by 70% when comparing January 2007 to May 2007 (this only includes site visits, not streams or streams from views on embedded videos). In comparison, the market share of visits to a custom category of 64 other video sites increased by only 8% in that period. As of May 2007, YouTube’s market share was 50% greater than those 64 sites combined. Here is a ranking of the top 10 sites in that custom category for May 2007:
What it means: YouTube still completely dominates the video market online. As video sites are quite bandwidth intensive and the video ad business model is not quite “ready for prime time” yet, we’ll start seeing some attrition in the marketplace in the next few months within the 64 video sites counted by Hitwise. Expect verticalization and B2B-ization of some of these players. Some of them might close as they run out of VC money.
According to TechCrunch, Yahoo will announce today that they’re shutting down Yahoo Photos in favor of Flickr.
What it means: this makes complete sense. The Flickr brand is much stronger and has much more soul than the Yahoo Photos brand. I’m going out on a limb but I’d like to suggest social media and applications are able to build stronger brands because of higher user involvement. I think large organizations are starting to realize that they can have a portfolio of unrelated brands online and it still makes sense from a business point of view. I expect Google will eventually phase out Google Videos in favor of YouTube who has a much stronger brand in the video vertical. Another noteworthy point: after acquiring Flickr, Yahoo moved the whole team to San Francisco (from Vancouver, Canada) but they’ve maintained a separate office for them in order to keep the entrepreneurial spirit (and possibly retain key employees).
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