Google Localizes Youtube for European Audiences

That said, Youtube has proved popular in Europe despite only having an English-language interface until now. In France in April, its U.S. site had almost as many visitors as the French-language pages of local video sharing service DailyMotion, according to market researcher comScore, Inc. (DailyMotion also offers services in a number of other languages, including English, German, Russian and Japanese.)

One European language notably missing from the new crop of Youtube sites is German. Youtube is already the number-one video sharing site in Germany, according to Comscore, narrowly ahead of the German-language service MyVideo operated by MyVideo Broadband SRL of Bucharest, Romania.

In Germany, it's more important to understand the German viewer's mind-set than their language, according to Anca-Alina Seghedi, CEO of MyVideo.

"Most of the German users of video communities already speak English, at least sufficiently to navigate on an international web site. That means the

language barrier is not the main decisive point for users to choose their favorite web sites," she said Friday.

MyVideo may be better placed to understand Germans than Youtube, said Seghedi. "It is questionable whether they will be able to adapt to the German consumer tastes, which has been quite an important aspect of MyVideo's success in Germany."

At Google's news conference on Tuesday, YouTube international manager Sakina Arsiwala said: "We have to talk to more people on the ground. We were not ready for Germany yet, from the product side or partnership side. We would love to be in Germany."

(James Niccolai in Paris contributed to this report.)

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