Microsoft cleans up in both U.S. search and video traffic

Online market research company comScore released its Video Metrix online video content ranking for the month of February. The rating tallies up the total online video audience for the U.S., determines how much it consumes per capita, and ranks the top video content providers.

February's total 170 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content for an average of 13.6 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in more than 5.0 billion viewing sessions in February.

As it has been in nearly every Video Metrix monthly ranking, Google sites were at the top with 141.1 million unique views. Microsoft, however, experienced a tremendous jump, boosting it from seventh place all the way to second with 48.8 million uniques, pushing it ahead of Yahoo and Facebook.

Illustrating what may have driven some of this upward movement, traffic analysis site Compete yesterday released its February search market share report which showed Microsoft's Bing actually grew in search share while all other search engines declined.

Interestingly, however, both comScore and Compete's reports run against what Nielsen published this week in its Top Online Video Sites in the U.S. and Top U.S. Web Brands and Travel Sites reports for February 2011.

Instead of a big boost in video traffic, Nielsen said MSN/Windows Live/Bing showed an almost 14% drop in unique views month over month, and an overall 3.7% decrease in unique views to all of its sites. While this was a shallower drop than the ones experienced by Google (-6.7%), Facebook (-7.5%) and Yahoo (-10.9%) it still fails to show growth for Microsoft in the short month of February that the other reports noted.

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