Consumer-generated media sites experienced significant year-over-year growth while news organizations achieved lift by adding some of the same media-sharing elements.
Social media sites are among the fastest-growing Web brands, according to data released by Nielsen//NetRatings. Such properties accounted for half of the top 10 fastest-growing Internet brands for July.
MySpace experienced 183 percent year-over-year growth from July of last year. It grew from 16.2 million unique visitors in July 2005 to 46 million uniques last month. The much talked about site was recognized for its market share last month though the data were criticized by Yahoo and other Web entities.
Dominant portals and other large sites have for the most part maintain dominant market positions, and the growth rates Nielsen//NetRatings measured for many social and amateur media sites mentioned in the research should not be considered an indication of ownership of the Web market.
"Google and Yahoo can't be the fastest growing sites, they're just too big," said Director of Media Analytics Jon Gibs.
Other fast-growing Web brands include HSBC, Associated Press, ImageShack, Heavy.com, Flickr and Wikipedia. The 394 percent gain by HSBC is part of the bank's effort to migrate consumers to use its online services. "The key was moving customers online, which they've been slow to do," said Gibs.
Earlier this year the Associated Press launched a video offering which serves consumer demand for streaming content. Both the AP and CNN have since added the ability for site users to post their own photos and video content to support each news organization's existing reporting.
"They have put themselves in a position where they have a tremendous amount of local coverage from multiple views," said Gibs. "They will try to take this type of content and not just make an online business but drive it centrally overall into their news business."
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