U.S. Online Video Consumption Grows Considerably Year-over-Year

U.S. users streamed 41 percent more video content in August 2009 than they did during the same period in 2008, according to data from ComScore. In addition, users are spending more of their time with the medium, with the average time per viewer up almost 39 percent year-on-year. However, total streams per viewer increased by around 20 percent, suggesting an increase in consumption of long-form video.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube dominated users’ attention, accounting for over 60 percent of streams during the month. Hulu was its closest rival with just 3.4 percent of streams, but this figure could be somewhat skewed given the long-form nature of the majority of Hulu’s content, compared with YouTube’s generally shorter, user-generated offerings.

In terms of reach, however, Hulu lagged behind properties owned by Yahoo, MSN, and Fox Interactive Media, suggesting a relatively small, but engaged user base for the site.

Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)
Metric August 2009 Year-Over-Year Increase (%)
Unique Viewers (000) 139,176 18
Total Streams (000) 11,363,819 41
Streams per Viewer 81.7 19.6
Time per Viewer (min) 204.9 38.6
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

Top Online Brands ranked by Video Streams for August 2009 (U.S.)
Video Brand Total Streams (000) Unique Viewers (000)
YouTube 7,188,638 107,730
Hulu 392,545 9,894
Yahoo 226,601 28,402
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 180,603 17,244
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network 158,790 6,376
Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network 151,606 7,826
Fox Interactive Media 149,304 14,823
Disney Online 103,992 9,524
MTV Networks Music 102,021 6,227
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

VideoCensus Methodology and Metrics: Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus combines patented panel and census research methodologies to provide an accurate count of viewing activity and engagement along with in-depth demographic reporting. Online video viewing is tracked according to video player, which can be used on site or embedded elsewhere on the Web. For example, if a “Saturday Night Live” clip from NBC.com is embedded on a personal blog, that video would be attributed to NBC because it is played through an NBC video player.

A unique viewer is anyone who viewed a full episode, part of an episode, or a program clip during the month. A stream is a program segment. VideoCensus measurement does not include video advertising.

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