Soapbox: no competition for YouTube

Ronny Kerr · July 21, 2009 · Short URL:

Video site flounders under economic pressures, while Google’s baby gets all the views

SoapboxYouTube just killed another one of its rivals.

Microsoft Soapbox, the tech giant’s answer to Google’s ever-popular YouTube, will be shut down by the end of the month, according to an email sent out by Microsoft Vice President and MSN leader Erik Jorgensen.

After announcements last month that the video service would be scaled back, Jorgensen wraps up what most of us had already expected, stating in an email, “We have decided to shut down the Soapbox feature.”

This latest news demonstrates once again the dominance YouTube has over the online video market.

Interestingly, despite the floundering of this video service, video streaming, as a whole, is actually on the rise. According to a recent Nielsen report, the total number of video streams viewed has grown by 34% in the last year. Of course, YouTube dominated the numbers, consistently claiming a top five spot in Alexa’s scoring of the top sites on the Web.

Even Microsoft knows who's in charge: the Bing team posted on the search engine's blog yesterday, announcing a contest to be held on YouTube looking for the best Bing jingle.

Still, Microsoft isn’t completely out of the picture. MSN Video will stay online, which sees 88 million unique visitors and 480 million video streams a month. Soapbox was bringing in less than 5% of those numbers, though.

Launched in 2006, Soapbox will be ending its nearly three-year run come end of August, though videos won’t be able to be uploaded past the end of July.

Whether YouTube will face any serious competition anytime soon remains to be seen.

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