YouTube's huge lead in market share over other online video sites continues to get bigger, even as the over all video viewing market continues a decline. According to traffic analysts Hitwise, YouTube now sees 75.43% of traffic to the online video category; that's up 26% from it's May 2007 marketshare of 59.95%. The nearest competitor is still MySpaceTV, which was down a whopping 44% to 9% marketshare. (Full chart of top 5 sites below.)
In April we reported that YouTube's dominance in online video was bigger than Google's dominance in search (67%). The new Hitwise numbers raise a number of questions for us.
Hitwise reports that overall video viewership in May of this year fell 9% compared to May of last year, but times on site grew 6%. That's strange. We've asked whether the rapidly growing Hulu is included in this batch of numbers and will update this post when we get a reply. (Update: Hitwise says that Hulu is now the 13th most watched video site and is seeing consistent growth each month.) Could it be that last year saw a large number of people checking out online video for the first time, only a certain percentage of them found that they liked it but those people are now watching more than before? If readers have any theories why the video market is declining in absolute number of viewers, we'd love to hear them.
YouTube's huge dominance over a market that includes a wide variety of different video sites, each with different communities and feature sets, probably does not bode very well for innovation in the sector. We'd love to see more people checking out innovative services like Metacafe, Blip.tv and others. We wrote about the top video content producers in the world yesterday, many of which are bigger in places other than YouTube. Smaller up and comers outside of YouTube deserve some attention, too.