Yahoo Does Something Right: Leapfrogs To No. 2 Spot In Web Video

The latest video market share figures for September from Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus have been leaked to Beet.TV, and they show a huge 56 percent jump from Yahoo to 264 million videos streamed during the month. Yahoo’s share still pales next to YouTube’s 5.3 billion streams. But it pumped out 95 million more streams than in August, when Yahoo was trailing Fox (i.e., MySpace), MSN, and Nickelodeon, according to Nielsen Online. And Yahoo attracted 10 million more individual viewers online, to 29.9 million. (Compare to comScore’s Video Metrix numbers from July, which had Yahoo in the fourth spot).

People still watch twenty times more videos on YouTube than on Yahoo. And just the number of streams YouTube added in September alone (592 million) was more than twice as many as Yahoo’s total stream count. YouTube also has a bigger overall audience (81.9 million unique viewers).

But the percentage of videos that Yahoo can put ads up against is much higher than YouTube’s. One estimate that was thrown around at a recent online video panel that I co-moderated earlier this week was that YouTube only monetizes four percent of its videos, which would be 214 million streams. So depending on what percentage of Yahoo’s videos are shown with ads, it might catch up to YouTube on revenues faster than the raw numbers would indicate.

The same logic can be applied to Fox’s 242 million video streams, and the other big video sites behind it. Although Fox, MSN/Windows Live, and Nickelodeon all saw declines during September in Web video market share.

What accounted for the big jump in Yahoo’s video share? Original programming such as Primetime In No Time< /em> (a synopsis of what Web watchers missed on regular TV) is generating 100 million streams, according to Jimmy Pitaro, Yahoo’s VP in charge of sports and entertainment. And the No. 1 video on Yahoo is this fan mashup of the Shakira song “Hips Don’t Lie.” No, they don’t.

Update: Other factors contributing to the strong September showing was better placement of contextual videos to drive follow-on views, as well as interest in videos related to the elections on Yahoo News and the financial collapse on Yahoo Finance.