Viacom’s MTV kicks off 2008 by announcing that it streamed 1.2 billion videos from its music-oriented websites last year, and that those websites attracted an average of 30 million uniques per month. Viacom has worked mightily in the last year to explain how committed it is to the Web, and frequently trumpets stats like these to make its case (other favourites: 300 websites, 90 million uniques across all of its sites, $500 million earmarked for video game investment, etc).
We don’t fault Viacom for wanting to promote itself. But the problem with these stats is that when viewed in context, they simply underscore how far behind the company remains. Those 1.2 billion video streams in 2007? Google’s YouTube does nearly twice that in a month; way back in 2005, Yahoo’s music service was streaming 4 billion videos a year.
Same problem with those uniques. 30 million monthly visitors seems like a decent number on its own, but compare those numbers to imeem, a newish startup that only recently started working with Big Music: comScore pegs its U.S. uniques at 3.2 million per month, while the company says it draws 18 million worldwide. Viacom’s failure to capitalise early on the Web is well-documented. We’re still waiting for evidence that it’s caught up to its peers.
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