Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rocketed past Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Facebook, AOL (NYSE:AOL), and other contenders to become the second most popular U.S. video site in February. ComScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) placed Microsoft (MFST) in the number seven spot a month ago.
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) number of unique users was up about 30%, and individual video views nearly doubled.
What’s driving the sudden increase? Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) didn’t launch any new video services in the last month, but Bing search traffic has been steadily increasing every month, and more of them are apparently using Bing Video. .
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) said that the gains were in large part to a deal with Fox Sports to display Super Bowl ads.
Bing returns video search results from around the Web — including Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube — but original MSN content and video from partners like Fox and Hulu is displayed within the Bing Video viewer.
YouTube is still way ahead in the rankings, with almost three times the number of viewers and six times the number of viewing sessions as Microsoft (MFST).
Here’s the chart for February. (Facebook is starred because ComScore began tracking a new video source for the site, so month-to-month comparisons are off.)
And here’s what Comscore was seeing a month ago: