It's well known that News Corp. has been unhappy about the success of YouTube, even well before it was acquired by Google. Execs from the company have often claimed that the video sharing site's growth was based on a free ride given to it by MySpace, as the social network's millions of users embedded YouTube videos onto their profiles, arguably driving lots of traffic back to YouTube. Having missed the opportunity to buy the video sharing site themselves, MySpace introduced its own video functionality, which -- though badly implemented (which is becoming typical of new features added to the site e.g. MySpace News), hasn't been unsuccessful, and according to Hitwise, is currently ranked number two.
However, second place represents 16% compared with YouTube's 60% -- meaning that the Google-owned video sharing site is way out ahead of the rest of the competition put together.
Enter: MySpaceTV, a MySpace video sharing feature done right. (Or a near-perfect YouTube clone).
My first reaction was: what took them so long?
Will the redesign help MySpace to make up ground on YouTube? Yes, no doubt in my mind. My reasoning is based on the success of version 1, which was pretty dreadful but still was able to get into second place -- proof of the value in having millions of users already loyal to the site. Now that MySpace's video section has a user interface that is actually usable and one that will be familiar with users because of its YouTube lineage -- I think we'll see MySpaceTV increase its share beyond 16%, and probably fairly quickly.