Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is Video a Maturing Market?

A report from Hitwise caught my eye today. Reporting on the video marketplace they find YouTube with a huge lead in market share and continuing growth, no surprise there. The surprises are two-fold: all the other leading properties had a decline in share and video sites overall lost share of total Internet visits. Their press release points out, though, that time spent by visitors increased during that period of time—March 07 through March 08.
That suggests some interesting hypotheses, so I went looking for data. YouTube is the 800-lb gorilla, but Gorilla Spot is a rapidly-growing newcomer (pun intended). As noted yesterday, Gorilla Spot is a “create/mashup your own” site. The press release mentions Hulu, the site for full-length TV programs. Here’s the growth comparison, and it may well suggest a change in viewing patterns.
Hulu is experiencing by far the fastest growth, although it should be noted that Gorilla Spot is so new it barely registers. Then add somewhat less recent data from the NYT that shows minutes spent, lots of them, on Hulu. It has quite a variety of video content, but if you watch, for example even a part of SNL, you’ve spent quite a few minutes.

I’ve seen the interpretation that this means that viewers are going more for expert/professionally-created content than for UGC. I don’t agree. It looks to me like time shifting—I missed SNL on Saturday night; I’ll watch it during the week when I have time. Gorilla Spot’s rapid growth supports that hypothesis.

But the larger hypothesis is a shift, if not yet a maturing, of the video market. It’s a shift of programming online—whether original content or access to content originally created for another channel. It does suggest, however, that viewers may well settle on a few key sites to satisfy their seemingly insatiable appetite for video of all kinds.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that you hit the nail on the head with your comment about a select few sites. I think that video as well as all other content tends to become overwhelming when considering the Internet. Gone are the days that a select few sites cater to the masses. Today it seems as though the list of "hip" sites changes weekly if not daily. With that in mind I think that people in general, myself included, become comfortable with a select few sites that can meet all of our needs online. That is not to say that we do not look at other perhaps newer sites, however I would venture a guess that unless there is some compelling reason to change sites or add a new site people will tend to stay with what they are familiar with.