Clip Sharers Are Top Video Sites

NEW YORK The popularity of clip sharing has pushed YouTube, MySpace and Google into the top slots for all video sites, beating out programmed fare from portals. YouTube in July had 30.5 million visitors, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, and it recorded 56 percent growth from the month before.

Since the start of the year, YouTube’s audience has grown nearly tenfold. YouTube, which was founded in Feb. 2005, is now the 14th most-popular Web brand, falling just behind The Weather Channel.

MySpace enjoyed the sharpest growth among video sites. It had 18.2 million visitors in July, double its total the month before. MySpace introduced its own video-sharing capability in March. MySpace, which overall attracted 46 million visitors, is the No. 7 brand online, per Nielsen//NetRatings.

The No. 3 most-visited video site is Google, which attracted 9.3 million in July, a 25 percent increase. Earlier this week, Google added a link to the site on its home page, which caused a big traffic surge in subsequent days, according to Hitwise, an Internet traffic measurement firm.

The sharp growth of the video-sharing sites, which allow anyone to post clips and embed them in their personal Web sites, has outpaced video offerings from portals, which mostly show select clips from professional programmers.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, MSN Video’s audience declined from 11 million in June to 9.3 million in July. AOL Video also attracted a smaller audience, falling from 7.3 million to 6.7 million. Yahoo Video was an exception, drawing 5.3 million visitors, up 74 percent. Yahoo introduced an uploading functionality in June, allowing users to post their own videos like on YouTube.

Video-sharing sites, particularly YouTube, are also retaining users longer. YouTube visitors averaged 26 minutes on the site, compared to 7 minutes for MSN Video and Yahoo Video, and less than 4 minutes at AOL Video. While MySpace Video visitors only stayed 1.5 minutes, other video-sharing sites had long usage: 31 minutes at MetaCafe and 16 minutes at Break.com.