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CNET Jumps Into Online Video

An already oversaturated online video market is about to add one more late player. CNET Networks, which owns News.com, Gamespot and MP3.com among others, says it will bring online video to its photo-sharing service Webshots. The photo site contains some 420 million different photographs, but page views have dipped at Webshots since last year amid competition from Yahoo's Flickr, News Corp.'s MySpace, and Facebook. CNET's photo-sharing service also received a little bit of a facelift. The design has been improved, navigation is easier, images are clearer, there are more channels, and registered users now receive more storage capacity. However, the addition of video is the biggest news. CNET has a tech-savvy audience; more than two-thirds of them have broadband connections and as recently as the second quarter of last year, the company served 100 million video streams. This is CNET's only competitive advantage; in reality, regardless of what it does to promote its new video-sharing site, Webshots probably won't make a dent in the traffic at YouTube and MySpace. As Motley Fool notes: "Any success here would likely just stir up more buyout speculation as CNET battles the demons of potential accounting irregularities." Despite the slide in traffic to Webshots, CNET's sites still recorded a 14 percent uptick in second-quarter revenues.

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