The Story of UTube

June 15th, 2007 | Categories: off topic

This is the story of UTube… not to be confused with YouTube…

The domain is the home of the Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation. Notice the letters in bold. Phonetically speaking, sounds eerily similar to, the wildly popular video-sharing site. For this reason, has been experiencing unprecedented amounts of traffic.

Here is a company profile pulled from the UTube site:

“Since 1985 Universal Tube & Rollform has been committed to being the number one supplier of used Tube, Pipe and Rollform Machinery in the world. Our presence in this industry has always been strong and honorable, working with companies locally and all over the world.”

Not exactly the typical profile of a wildly successful web 2.0 start-up, but let’s look at the numbers just to put the situation in perspective. The site had an Alexa rank that was off the charts before 2006. Today, UTube is ranked in the 9,000 range! Remarkable. It has peaked higher than 5,000 at one point. Here is a 3-year Alexa chart, showcasing the traffic growth of - phenomenal to say the least. According to the company, unique visitors surpasses 120,000 per day.

The high traffic and exposure are obviously not due to the products and offerings of this industrial firm. Growth is placed squarely on the success of YouTube - and the most obvious misspelling that accompanies it. UTube did launch a lawsuit against YouTube, looking for monetary compensation for brand degradation and technology costs. The actual complaint is a hilarious document. I highly suggest you take the time to give it a thorough read.

More recently, UTube has decided to try to profit from the traffic. If you visit, the top of the page is riddled with ads for ringtones, dating sites, toolbars, and loans to name a few. This is a definite new direction and revenue stream for a tangible, industrial product firm! Resourceful to say the least. I am very curious as to how much the site is making from these ads. Also, it would be interesting to know whether the ad revenue exceeds the bandwidth and hosting costs…

In any case, I thought this was a fascinating story. I’m sure there are many other popular misspelled sites out there. I wonder how they deal with the traffic onslaught…

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