The people have spoken and what they have told us is that they love online video. But besides that one friend we all seem to have who loves to send us link after link, what are the other ways people have of finding their latest cute pet video?
Some interesting statistics on the huge rise of online video in the past year from digital Research agency Newscom: over the past year, there has been a 65% gain in the viewing of online videos. The winner of the game, unsurprisingly, is Google Sites, with YouTube accounting for 96 percent of that traffic and 3,567,202 videos viewed in February 2008. Barely trailing is Fox Interactive (owner of MySpace) with 586,23 videos viewed (compared to YouTube's 3 million). Search engine marketing agency Hitwise has released a report that search engines are catching up with social media for online video referring links, a difference from just a year ago when more of the traffic was coming from social networking sites such as MySpace Video and Google's widely popular YouTube.
For the week of April 12, 2008, Google referring traffic rose 44% from 2007 as well as Yahoo's percentage of referring links (13%). MySpace's traffic on the other hand, went down 25%.
Heather Dougherty, Director of Research at Hitwise, theorizes that the reason for this shift is that while social media is widely used by younger people, older generations will use traditional search engines to find videos. And with more people getting hip to online videos, it's only natural that we will start seeing numbers like this.
However, lots of people still use social media to view online videos, which isn't surprising considering the mentality of social networking addicts; people will spend all day on Facebook or MySpace and use the site as a portal to the Internet, rather than just a communication tool. It makes sense that these people would not want to leave the sites they call home.
The only question with this data is what would be the best way to interpret it, especially considering YouTube, for example, is owned by Google.
Whatever the reason, online video is huge right now and is only going to get bigger, especially with the networks putting their shows online to sate "appointment television viewers".
Only time will tell how users will find this content -- either by being referred by friends via email, going on the video site itself or by going on a video specific site like YouTube or Hulu.