Data and insider anecdote both point to a sudden and precipitous collapse in YouTube pretender NicoNico Douga’s popularity; in the face of such a reverse the talk of making Nico into national infrastructure seems mere hubris – it may be lucky to ever turn a profit, let alone expand overseas.
Might this have something to do with the recent supplication of Nico before its new masters? In all probability, yes; the graphs really speak for themselves on this.
Evidence of the collapse can be had from two principal sources. Firstly, traffic ranking service Alexa’s admittedly dubious ranking data illustrates a massive decline in popularity, and a dramatic reversal in the growth previously enjoyed by the service. Strangely, it seems to coincide with Nico’s servers being wiped bare…
Some caution is required in dealing with these statistics, as anyone with their own site statistics will be able to tell you of a significant variance between Alexa stats and their own figures; the statistics are also prone to being retroactively revised, and little is revealed of their ranking algorithm.
But there is also the matter of someone connected with company willing to give some inside information…
This source claims Nico to have gone astray, and affirms that access numbers are down and Nico is in a pinch, desperately pursuing the elusive prospect of becoming profitable by trying to increase paid memberships without taking into account the wishes of the user community; of course the anime wipe is also a key factor.
Interestingly, the source clearly identifies Hatsune Miku as the killer product which drove Nico’s growth over the last year.
If we compare such a perspective with that expressed by management, it seems that management is under the delusion that they have a technical product, whereas in fact it seems Nico rode to popularity on the back of Hatsune Miku, Yayoi, and the community of users who gathered under their banner, as well as the prospect of watching anime.
This would also tend to suggest that Nico’s dreams of overseas expansion are hopeless without similar content and community, rather than it being a mere matter of tickered comments to crush YouTube.
Still, with the creator of 2ch at the helm, it may be too early to write off NicoNico Douga… Source.