Microsoft’s online video sites have soared into second position in the U.S. following big gains for the company.
Google’s YouTube property still dominates the top spot but Microsoft has moved from seventh position to second according to figures from comScore. Google’s sites, including YouTube, account for 141.1 million unique monthly viewers. Microsoft has captured the number two position with 48.8 million viewers, followed by Yahoo! sites with 46.7 million viewers. Facebook also came close to Yahoo! with 46.6 million viewers.
Microsoft’s video properties primarily consist of Bing Videos and MSN Video. The jump in viewers likely coincides with the recent growth of Bing. The figures follow similar gains for Microsoft’s Zune Video service. The software giant’s Zune video platform now accounts for 17.9% of the market compared to 11.6% in 2009. Microsoft cemented its U.S. number two market rank during 2010 according to figures from IHS Screen Digest.
Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a new set of music and video services, codenamed “Ventura”. The new services are being developed by Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. The services will focus on music and video discovery and consumption. “Ventura” also appears to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting. Little is known about “Ventura” and how it fits into the company’s Zune music and video services. Zune has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft was forced to confirm it is not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly. Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet around Zune and Zune services over the past few months and has reportedly killed off its Zune range of hardware.