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MySpace, the social media site owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, on Wednesday earned a new feather in its cap after an online ratings agency said it showed more videos in the US than any other internet site in the month of July.
MySpace’s US users watched 1.5bn videos in July, more than double the 649m watched on YouTube, the fast-growing specialist video site, according to comScore, an online ratings agency. Yahoo users are also reported to have streamed more videos, with 812m viewings in the month.
If accurate, the figures suggest MySpace may already have more weight in the booming online video business than even News Corp executives have suggested. Peter Chernin, News Corp president, took aim at YouTube at a Merrill Lynch conference this month, saying MySpace aimed to match or exceed its audience.
As many as 60-70 per cent of YouTube’s users connect to the service though MySpace, Mr Chernin claimed, making them an attractive target market for MySpace’s own in-house video service. However, Chad Hurley, YouTube chief executive officer, played down the significance to his company of traffic from MySpace, saying it did not represent a dominant share of YouTube’s audience.
While early audience gains were an important indicator of which companies were doing well in online video, none of the internet sites had yet found a reliable way to sell the new audiences to advertisers, said Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner. The booming viewer numbers “show the pressing need all these companies have to come up with a way to insert ads”.