It’s still early in the game, to be sure, but so far it looks like YouTube can keep calling Viacom’s bluff, especially since early research shows that YouTube traffic has surged, not suffered, since Viacom demanded the takedown of 100,000 purportedly purloined video clips.
According to research from the fine folks at Hitwise, YouTube visits are up 14 percent since Viacom’s cease-and-desist order, showing that maybe it’s not just people watching Daily Show and Colbert clips after all. Who needs that Audible Magic stuff, anyway?
Hitwise’s LeeAnn Prescott goes on to report that during early Feburary YouTube traffic also “surged above the combined traffic to all of the television network websites,” albeit with some caveats. The figure doesn’t include web pages for things like American Idol, The Simpsons and sports — or in other words, just about everything that matters on mainstream TV.
Still, the numbers show that there’s pressure not only on YouTube but on the major content players as well, since they can’t really afford to be off the YouTube traffic train.