14. May 2012–
YouTube on its knees due to ongoing woes with music rights agency GEMA? Not quite. Figures out today show Google's YouTube still tops the list of online video platforms in Germany, with growth in gaming channels helping keep viewer numbers high.
Germany - second largest market, on the rise
Overall, according to international market researcher ComScore, Germany is one of the largest online video markets in Europe and is growing quickly.
ComScore's latest figures, out today, show unique visitors in March 2012 are up 2.3 per cent on last year to 46.9 million. The real growth comes in time spent watching - average time per visitor increased by 33.7 per cent to just under 27 hours.
Google holds its lead at the top of the online video property chart (above), with nearly all those who visited Google Sites doing so via YouTube.
So where is YouTube's strong showing coming from?
German music rights collection agency GEMA just notched a legal win over YouTube in Munich, the latest in a long-running stoush over copyright. Many popular music videos in Germany remain blocked and at least some frustrated music lovers will be turning to alternatives such as Tape.tv, Vimeo, Dailymotion and MyVideo.
But company channel use might be making up for this. In Germany, today's figures show, the most popular YouTube channels belong to the gaming industry, led by the channels of Bigpoint (5.6m unique viewers), Machinima (4.2m) and Media Power Networks (3.2m). Bigpoint in particular is experiencing rapid growth - 86 per cent compared to October 2011.
"YouTube is being used as a playground for developers of new video formats and the prospect to reach 35 million people on a single platform is certainly a great attraction, especially for start-ups," ComScore Germany senior account manager Peter Bernschneider said. "In the US and UK, however, we see another trend - known brands use YouTube channels to expand their reach and, in part, also to reach new (younger) audiences. It seems that the potential of YouTube channels in German-speaking countries is not yet fully utilised."
So, there you have it - despite legal woes, YouTube is holding tight to market share in Germany and - according to ComScore - might see this increase as bigger brands start paying more attention to channels. It's a timely reminder that there is more than one way to get around GEMA...
70 per cent more for mobile
Also of interest in today's release - there's a growing interest in mobile video across all age groups. In the three months to March 2012, 3.2 million Germans used phones to retrieve videos - an increase of 70 per cent compared to last year. The 45-54 age bracket saw the strongest growth, at 117.2 per cent.
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