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Video-Site Traffic Soars, YouTube Rules

Visits to the top 10 online video sites has increased 164 percent in the past three months (from week ended February 25 to week ended May 20), with YouTube alone accounting for 43 percent of that traffic, according to Hitwise. The online video site was also ranked at number 42 among the half a million websites tracked by Hitwise. YouTube's share of visits has increased 160 percent in the last three months.

YouTube, both a video and social-networking site, allows users to create their own profiles, post videos and comment on each other's posts. Social networking giant MySpace provided more than 20 percent of YouTube's traffic in February and March, before MySpace widely launched its own video sharing service by placing a "videos" link on every profile page on March 31.

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YouTube's average session time for the week ended May 20 was 13 minutes 20 seconds, three times that of MySpace Video (4 minutes 41 seconds).

"The rapid growth of online video sites in the past six months demonstrates a major shift in online behavior" said LeeAnn Prescott, senior research analyst at Hitwise. "The internet is quickly moving from static web pages to an environment rich with interaction and user-generated multimedia content."

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