In response to the whole YouTube juncture that’s happened in the last week, MySpace made a couple of slight but relatively significant changes over the weekend that’s very much likely to have an effect on YouTube’s popularity.
First, users who have uploaded a video to MySpace Videos and use the default layout will now see a new section called ‘Video Space’ in their profile that displays their latest or chosen video, just below ‘Who I’d Like to Meet’ and above ‘Friend Space.’ Secondly, they added a section in the top-left of the homepage which displays and features four popular videos of the day.
It’s estimated that 50% – 60% of YouTube’s traffic is accredited to MySpace (including embedded codes in profiles), and this is likely to change very soon. Newscorp was rumored to be one of the companies which bid on YouTube, and it’s clear they’re not happy with the outcome.
Instead of simply banning YouTube embed codes — like they did a few months ago and got a lot of hatred for — what they’re trying to achieve is a slow, long-term takeover. Their plan is to keep visitors at MySpace rather than let them drift away to third parties, and as a result this is their first step to fully contemplate it in-house.
Certainly, having a ‘Video Space’ where the video is automatically displayed and updated is much much better and easier than copying codes from one site to another. Infact, if MySpace Videos does this job well — and added it’s much simpler to upload to — why would you even consider using YouTube?
Another thing I noticed is that the top videos on MySpace and the top on YouTube are somewhat similar. If this continues, it will bridge the gap between the two services and give users less variety, but in the end the winner will be MySpace because videos are only a part of the idea of social networking, not a whole (long-term) phenomenon by themselves.
In my opinion, this might be the lead to a slowly deteriorating downfall of YouTube, and the rise of the hugely-populated MySpace. It’s clear YouTube’s primary existence in this market isn’t to serve to independent film-makers, but indeed the MySpace and Lonelygirl15 audience. MySpace Videos currently being second in terms of market-share (22%), in comparison to YouTube (45%) they have a long way to go but to their benefit a long time to achieve it in.
[tags]MySpace, YouTube, Social Networks, Online Video[/tags]