Web Video Viewing Breaks Records in July

Aug 27, 2009

-By Mike Shields

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The audience for online video reached new heights last month, as over 158 million Americans streamed a total of 21.4 billion videos in July according to comScore—both new records for the still-burgeoning medium.

While online video consumption has been on the rise for a while, a little more than a year ago the total audience for Web video appeared to be leveling off. But since April of last year, nearly 24 million more users have become regular online video watchers, according to comScore’s data.

Since then, online video viewing has become all the more mainstream; in July 2009, 81.0 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video, up from 73 percent in April of 2008.

Plus, the average viewer streamed 8.3 hours of video content last month. Indeed, it seems that July, a month during which summer vacations would theoretically cut into video streaming (at least at work) has been a particularly strong month for movie trailers and music videos, such as the work of the recently-deceased Michael Jackson.

Not surprisingly, Google sites—which include YouTube dominated the video category in July, accounting for 42 percent of all videos streamed during the month (8.9 billion videos overall). Viacom Digital came in a distant second with 812 million video streams, or 3.8 percent of the market.

In terms of unique users, Google also dominated, reached 121 million unique viewers, versus 64.5 million uniques for second place finisher Microsoft. Fast-growing Hulu reached 38.1 million unique users, good enough for sixth place in the category. To put Google’s dominance in perspective, YouTube’s audience averaged 74.1 videos per viewer in June, per comScore, versus 12 videos per viewer for Hulu’s audience.

However, to Hulu’s credit, while the average online video consumed during the month was 3.7 minutes, Hulu viewers on average watched 1 hour and 13 minutes of video content on the site, found comScore.