Back in August MySpace started talking big about taking on YouTube – as I commented here.
Well now they have got ahead. And by some way – 20% more streams in the period. Yahoo! is also bigger than YT and about the same size as MySpace. All the data is US.
I first saw it in the FT this morning but I am linking to Fred at A VC because he he has more detailed numbers and no DRM. Note that YouTube videos served through MySpace count the YouTube total and not MySpace – so no lies damn lies and statistics.
Myspace overtaking YouTube doesn’t change everything, and YouTube is still a big and successful business, but the lesson here is that there could be another which grows faster.
At this point in the cycle when good exits depend on big strategic premiums the loss of market leader status could do bad things to YouTube’s valuation.
In general though, market leaders should be able to sustain their position. Scale is important in social networks:
- There is a network effect from large number of members analagous to liquidity on a stock exchange
- Big memberships should enable better innovation via consultation and trialing
- Leaders can copy cat the best ideas from competitors before they hurt them
YouTube is less of a social network than many of these sites and as such was always more vulnerable to competition than many other niche market leaders. (Admittedly video is a BIG niche….)