YouTubers ‘Prefer Homemade Video’

Despite much public ado about piracy at YouTube, new research shows that the Google-owned website is thriving and many visitors are looking for homemade works.

“If you look at the search terms driving traffic to YouTube, it turns out a lot of the content people are seeking is user-generated,” Hitwise general manager of global research Bill Tancer said.

Industry analysts and insiders have expressed concern that blocking the sharing of copyrighted video snippets at YouTube would cause notoriously migratory internet users to go to less restrictive rival websites.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt went public last week with a vow to soon roll out technologies to better thwart piracy of copyrighted video.

Schmidt’s promise came after Viacom had more than 100,000 video clips from its films and television shows yanked from YouTube and made a deal to put show its productions at television website Joost.

“I know everyone is up in arms about the Google announcement that they will have to put some copyright controls in place,” Tancer said.

“But our data is telling us that may not impact YouTube visits as much as people think it will.”

Visits to the popular video-sharing website increased nearly 14 percent in the two weeks after the Viacom clips were removed on February second, according to Hitwise.

During the week of February third, traffic to YouTube was greater than that to all television network websites combined, Hitwise reported.

“Even with YouTube removing copyrighted content, the Viacom content, their growth continues,” Tancer told AFP.

The Hitwise study of words and phrases used in internet search engine queries that directed people to YouTube videos indicated that popular hunts focused on amateur videos.

In the four weeks ending February 17, the top online video search was for television commercials shown during the recent US football championship Superbowl game, according to Hitwise.

The second most common video search was for “white and nerdy” while “Charlie the unicorn” ranked third, Tancer said.

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