In what is being seen as a watershed moment for media, a surge in popularity this month saw the number of visitors to YouTube overtake that to US TV websites.

According to data from Hitwise, YouTube's share of internet visits leapt to 0.6031% during the week of February 3, breezing beyond the 0.4865% share all US TV network websites combined enjoy.

Although MTV and Comedy Central parent Viacom on February 2 demanded YouTube remove 100,000 of its clips, the video network's US market share actually jumped 13.9% in the two weeks thereafter.

Hitwise researcher LeAnn Prescott, who uncovered the data, said:

"This is a landmark event in the changing face of web traffic and entertainment consumption, now that entertainment seekers are now more likely to go to YouTube than any other television network or gaming website."

Prescott's research did not include TV networks' separate programme, news, weather, sport or shopping websites.


Published 26 February, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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