The popular social networking site MySpace is the top distributor of online video among U.S. internet users, beating out Yahoo and YouTube, according to a new study released Wednesday.

News Corp.'s MySpace leads in the number of video streams initiated by U.S. users in July, with nearly 1.5 billion sessions — about 20 per cent of all videos streamed that month, ComScore MediaMetrix said in its new U.S. Video Metrix report about online video streaming websites.

Yahoo followed with 812 million streams, and YouTube rounded out the top three with 649 million sessions.

Yahoo leads visitor rankings

When ranked by the number of visitors, Yahoo and MySpace traded places.

Yahoo led with 37.9 million unique U.S. users, with MySpace close behind with 37.4 million visitors. YouTube rounded out the top three with 30.5 million.

More than 106.5 million people, or about three out of every five U.S. internet users, streamed or downloaded video during July for a total of about 7.2 billion videos, ComScore MediaMetrix said.

That comes to an average of 67 streams per individual, or an average of two streams perperson per day.

User content to boom

User-created videos on sites such as MySpace and YouTubeare expected to grow dramatically through 2010, with a significant impact on their owners' bottom line, according to a separate report released Wednesday by market research firm In-Stat.

By 2010, the number of videos viewed or downloaded on such websites will surpass 65 billion, leading to revenues in excess of $850 million US, according to In-Stat's report entitled User Generated Content: More than just watchin' YouTube and Hangin' in MySpace.

The report projected that the total data volume ofviews and downloads on video-sharing sites would exceed 1.1 exabytes of data by 2010, or about1.1 quintillion bytes. One quintillion is equal to one billion billion, written as a one followed by 18 zeroes.

Uploads are forecast to grow to more than 9.1 petabytes, or about 9.1 quadrillion bytes. A quadrillion is equal to 1,000 billion, written as a one followed by 15 zeroes.

The report also confirmed ComScore's finding that MySpace surpasses YouTube in the number of visitors.