Let MySpace Open the Door

In September, NewsCorp COO Peter Chermin said that "˜most’ of YouTube’s traffic comes from Chermin’s MySpace property. Traffic being referred between two of the highest profile sites on the internet is nothing new, but when it potentially influences the suite of services catering to the insatiable teen audience that Chermin purchased, you pull up a chair.

"Given that most of their traffic comes from us, if we build adequate, if not superior, competitors, I think we ought to be able to match them, if not exceed them." Chermin told a group of investors at an industry conference a little over a month ago. With online traffic, social networking warfare, and owners of the Simpsons in the mix, we just knew we had to chime in.

To be specific, Chermin estimated that 60-70% of YouTube’s traffic comes from MySpace. This could be true, but it doesn’t look that way from our perch on the sidelines (and only in the U.S.). During the month of Chermin’s statement, we actually saw that only 10% of YouTube’s traffic came from MySpace, a slight decrease from previous months.

On a pure volume basis, Chermin should choose his words carefully, since 7,205,330 people may have left MySpace for YouTube, but 6,127,909 also left YouTube to visit Chermin’s profile on MySpace.

The impact of YouTube may lead to the increased emphasis that Chermin puts on MySpace Video, but Chermin could have made a case based on the volume of his MySpacers linked up to Photobucket.com. We saw that Photobucket.com consistently ranked as one of the top 10 referrers to MySpace from July through September, no big surprise, but another reason the video opportunity is ripe for MySpace without the slap at YouTube.

There is no denying the link between these social networking powerhouses, but it just may not be as pronounced as Chermin would want us to believe. Lucky for him.

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