BBC Faces Probable Loss To YouTube

    June 20, 2007

Talk about new media versus old: a report from Hitwise indicates that YouTube may soon overtake the main BBC site in terms of UK visits.

“Last week, ranked #14 among All Categories of websites with 0.82% of all UK Internet visits compared to YouTube’s #25 ranking with 0.81% of UK Internet visits,” reports Hitwise UK’s Vice President of Research, Heather Hopkins.  That’s a very small difference in percentages, but a reasonably big difference in rankings.

Still, as Hopkins continues, we find that “[t]he gap between the two websites is closing rapidly.  Last week, BBC had a 1.6% lead on YouTube in share of UK visits, down from 37% three months ago and 131% six months ago.”  Yikes.

A graph provided by Hitwise then puts the problem (as fans of the BBC might see it) into more visible terms:’s market share has been pretty flat since June of last year, with only a slight upward trend.  YouTube’s line, on the other hand, has moved up at something approaching a 45-degree angle.

“Share[s] of UK visits to continue to grow, up 13% year on year in May, however it is far outpaced by gains from YouTube.  YouTube’s share of UK visits were up nearly 7-fold (669%) year on year in May and up 140% in the past six-months,” interprets Hopkins.

Still, this may not be quite as horrible as it could seem (again, in the opinion of BBC followers); the BBC has been known to make mash-ups with Google, and has actually signed a deal with YouTube itself.  So some of that YouTube traffic may well be related to BBC videos.  After all, who wouldn’t want to watch the Stig tear around in a Lamborghini and a Zonda?