By Claire West

Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service, revealed that UK Internet traffic to online video websites increased by 178% between February 2007 and 2008. A Hitwise custom category of the top 25 video websites in the UK accounted for 2.22% of all UK Internet visits in February 2008, equivalent for one in every 45 Internet visits that month. “Online video is growing rapidly in the UK and the primary driver for this is the increasing penetration of fast broadband connections in the UK,” commented Robin Goad, Director of Research at Hitwise. “However, the sheer volume of compelling content out there is clearly helping to accelerate this trend.”

YouTube still dominates the market, but the BBC and social networks are catching up

YouTube is the most popular video site in the UK and the eighth most visited website overall. The combined market share of its US (www.youtube.com) and UK (uk.youtube.com) properties in February was 69.31% of all UK Internet visits to a custom category of the top 25 video sites. “One of the key reasons for YouTube’s success is the strength of its brand,” commented Goad. “The fourth and fifth most popular search terms in the UK during February were ‘youtube’ and ‘you tube’. The international nature of its content also plays a role: YouTube Poland (pl.youtube.com) was the 24th most visited video website in the UK last month.”

The third most visited video website in the UK during February was BBC iPlayer (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer). The corporation’s catch-up TV streaming service has increased its market share of UK Internet visits by 423% since December 2007, and is now the 50th most visited website in the UK overall. In February, iPlayer was the fifth most visited BBC online property in the UK after BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk, UK rank: 9th), the BBC Homepage (www.bbc.co.uk, 12th), BBC Sport (news.bbc.co.uk/sport, 18th) and BBC Weather Centre (www.bbc.co.uk/weather, 30th).

MySpaceTV (www.myspacetv.com) was the fourth most visited video site in the UK during February, illustrating the close link between video websites and social networking. “In addition to YouTube and MySpaceTV, there are a number of other video sharing websites gaining market share in the UK, such as MetaCafe (www.metacafe.com) and Tudou (www.tudou.com),” commented Goad. “Even video sites that don’t rely on user-generated content receive a significant amount of traffic from social networks. In February, UK video sites received 16.28% of their traffic from Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, the three most popular social networks in the UK.”

Video search on the rise in the UK

Obviously as with non video traffic consumer search completely outstrips business search but video still has a place on business sites and here at www.freshbusinessthinking.com we now have nearly 40 videos on our site.
One in every 40 searches in the UK during February 2008 resulted in a visit to a video site, up from one in every 117 a year before. Nearly one-third of all traffic to the top 25 video sites in the UK comes from search engines, and the range and variety of videos that people are searching for continues to increase.

There were 83,574 distinct search terms containing the word ‘video’ typed into search engines in the UK during February, and a number of smaller ‘videopedia’ websites have emerged to provide Internet surfers with practical answers to their questions. The most popular of these, VideoJug (www.videojug.com) increased its share of UK Internet visits more than five-fold between February 2007 and 2008. The site contains thousands of ‘how to’ videos, covering subjects ranging from hanging a picture to undressing a woman with your teeth. Cooking videos are particularly popular, and half of the top search terms sending traffic to VideoJug are recipe related.

Any organizations that want to add video content to our site should contact us on 0845 5000 328.

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