YouTube Traffic Quadruples In First Half Of '06

Video sharing site YouTube saw traffic surge 75 percent the week of July 9, when it posted video World Cup footage showing French captain Zinédine Zidane's head-butt attack against Italian defender Marco Materazzi, according to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings.

For that week, the site drew 12.8 million unique visitors, compared to 7.3 million the week before. The New York Times' Web site was among the online publications that linked to the YouTube footage.

Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that YouTube's traffic quadrupled in the first six months of this year. Last month, the video site drew 19.6 million unique visitors--up from 4.9 million in January, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The number of Web pages viewed surged 515 percent, to approximately 724 million last month--up from around 118 million in January--and the time spent per person increased 64 percent, to around 28 minutes, from approximately 17 minutes.

The site also skews heavily toward young males. Men are 20 percent more likely than women to visit YouTube, and Web users between the ages of 12 and 17 are almost 1.5 times more likely than average to visit the site.

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