YouTube v. MySpace Music: What a Difference Two Years Makes

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MySpace Music is still a critical base for artists, and often a starting point for successful marketing campaigns.

But broader traffic declines have taken their toll.  Just two years ago, on-demand streaming activity on MySpace Music overshadowed YouTube videos by a huge margin.  In fact, on a typical track in early 2008, a day’s worth of streams on MySpace Music often equaled a week’s worth of video views on YouTube.

No more.  Just two years later, a totally different ratio has emerged.  According to information tracked by data partner BigChampagne, divergent growth paths for the respective properties have had a profound impact on music consumption levels.

The shift speaks volumes about the properties and formats.  Rihanna’s “Rude Boy,” number 4 across both sites during the recent week, offers a convenient comparison.  During the period, “Rude Boy” racked 732,014 on-demand streams on MySpace Music, but the music video clocked nearly 4.3 million plays on YouTube.

Rihanna, “Rude Boy”
MySpace Music (w/e 5/2)
Rank: 4
732,014 streams

YouTube (w/e 5/2)
Rank: 4
4,282,376 video views

A high-level examination of the top-ten most-played songs makes the shift abundantly clear.  During the same period, the ten most-played music videos on YouTube racked 57.3 million views, while the top ten on MySpace Music generated 7.5 million. The totals were also compiled by BigChampagne through its BC Dash interface.

At a higher level, this is just one outgrowth of an ongoing decline for MySpace, though its importance in the music world remains. Facebook is obviously one source of the broader drain, though YouTube has also become more serious about music. In fact, the biggest debates of late – whether OK Go, EMI, or GEMA – now involve YouTube and its massive traffic tranche.

At a smaller level, YouTube has also been busy. At SXSW, the company was pushing its independently-minded, “Musicians Wanted” initiative, and courting up-and-comers to participate.

A major turning point occurred earlier this year. In January, the YouTube-embedded Vevo was crowned the largest music destination, edging out the once-dominant MySpace Music.  According to US-based data supplied by comScore, Vevo attracted 35.4 million unique visitors in December of 2009, just ahead of 33.1 million on MySpace Music.

Meanwhile, the broader growth picture on YouTube remains breakneck. In March, Google video views reached 13.05 billion, up from 11.95 billion in February.  That is 42 percent of all video viewership online, also according to comScore figures.  Users are now viewing an average of 96 videos per month.

One Response

  1. CTyankee

    It’s too bad. I think MySpace had the ball when it came to music. You can say they never innovated, etc., but bigger traffic declines mean less people passing through. So, where does that leave MySpace Music 1, 2, 5 years from now?