While the number of Americans watching online videos saw modest growth in the last year, the big news is the nearly 50 percent growth in the number of online content videos viewed each month and the nearly 150 percent growth in the number of video ad views.
According to the latest data from the comScore Video Metrix service, 182.4 million Americans watched 49.2 billion online content videos in February 2014, while the number of video ad views totaled 24.6 billion. By comparison, 178 million Americans watched 33 billion online content videos in February 2013, while the number of video ad views reached 9.9 billion.
So, the number of Americans watching online videos has increased a modest 2.5 percent year-over-year. This is to be expected now that 85 percent of the U.S. Internet audience is viewing online video, up from 83.3 percent a year ago. The big story is the 49.1 percent growth year-over-year in the number of online content videos they watch per month and the 148.5 percent growth year-over-year in the number of video ad views.
On the game show What's My Line?, which ran on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, Steve Allen often asked, "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" Well, each viewer spent an average of 1,076.1 minutes in February - or close to 18 hours during the shortest month of the year - watching online video. So the answer to Allen's classic question is: "Yes, it's bigger than a breadbox."
Top Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers
Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in February 2014 with 152.8 million unique viewers. Facebook ranked number two with 91.1 million viewers, followed by AOL, Inc. with 63.4 million, Yahoo Sites with 49.7 million, and NDN with 46.9 million. Nearly 49.2 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 11.7 billion, followed by Facebook with 6.8 billion and AOL, Inc. with 1.1 billion.
By comparison, Google Sites ranked as the top online video content property in February 2013 with 150.7 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook with 61.2 million, VEVO with 49.5 million, NDN with 46.3 million, and Yahoo Sites with 43.6 million. More than 33 billion video content views occurred during that month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 11.3 billion and Facebook reaching its all-time high of 558 million.
So, over the past 12 months, AOL has replaced VEVO as the number three online video content property. Search Engine Watch reported on how AOL jumped into third place in the online video content rankings last June.
Top Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed
Americans viewed nearly 24.6 billion video ads in February 2014, with AOL, Inc. recapturing the number one position with 3.2 billion ad impressions. Google Sites came in second with 3 billion ads, followed by Live Rail with 2.9 billion, BrightRoll Platform with 2.6 billion, and TubeMogul Video Ad Platform with 2.4 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 9.1 billion minutes, with AOL, Inc. delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.5 billion minutes. Video ads reached 51.6 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 154 times during the month.
By comparison, Americans viewed 9.9 billion video ads in February 2013, with Google Sites ranking first with its all-time high of 2.2 billion ads. BrightRoll Video Network came in second with 1.6 billion, followed by Hulu with 1.4 billion, Adap.tv with 1.4 billion, and LiveRail.com with 1 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.8 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 859 million minutes. Video ads reached more than 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 63 times during the month.
So, AOL (with its acquisition of Adap.tv last August) and TubeMogul are up in the rankings, Hulu is down, and all of the top video ad properties are rolling in the dough - to extend the breadbox metaphor.
Top YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers
The February 2014 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 36.4 million viewers. Maker Studios Inc. climbed into the number two spot with 30.3 million unique viewers, followed by Fullscreen with 25.9 million, warnerbros vfp with 25.1 million, and ZEFR (formerly MovieClips) with 24 million.
By comparison, the February 2013 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 48.2 million viewers. Fullscreen held on to the second position with 36.8 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 30.5 million, Warner Music with 26 million and ZEFR with 23.8 million.
So, Maker Studios is up in the rankings, Fullscreen and Warner Music are down, and most of the top YouTube Partner Channels are trying to figure out why their minutes per viewer are up year-over-year even though their total unique viewers are down.
Perhaps, this isn't a problem that needs to be fixed. As Alex Carloss, YouTube's global head of entertainment, said at yesterday's MIPTV programme market and conference in Cannes, the online video giant's power is less about audiences and more about fans. According to The Guardian, he said, "An audience tunes in when they're told to, a fan base chooses when and what to watch. An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fan base shares, it comments, it curates, it creates."
Meanwhile, as ClickZ reported last week, old-school traditional media companies have started to acquire new-school multi-channel networks (MCNs). Disney acquired Marker Studios last month for $500 million. DreamWorks bought AwesomenessTV last year for a reported $117 million. (And now AwesomenessTV has itself bought MCN Big Frame for $15 million.) Discovery bought Revision3 last year for around $30 million. And Warner Brothers just led an $18 million financing round in Machinima.
In other words, traditional media companies are coming up with some real dough in order to acquire the MCNs that know how to make some bread on the time spent watching online content videos and video ads. Yes, it's bigger than a breadbox.
And that's a line worth knowing before digital marketers and their ad agencies walk into the third annual NewFronts marketplace, which will be held in New York City between April 28 and May 8, 2014.
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Greg Jarboe is president of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization, public relations, video marketing, and social media marketing services. He's the author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day," a faculty member at Rutgers University and Market Motive, as well as a frequent speaker at SES conferences.
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