U.S. Online Video Views Declined During December

U.S. online video streams dropped month-over-month in December, according to Nielsen. Data from the measurement firm’s VideoCensus product suggests 4 percent fewer videos were viewed in December than the previous month, and that 0.7 percent fewer users consumed online video at all.

That reduction can potentially be attributed to the holiday period, with users spending less time in front of computer screens.

However, growth of the medium does appear to be plateauing. Year-over-year, users streamed 11.8 percent more video during December 2009 than they did during December 2008. Comparable Nielsen data for November saw 17 percent year-on-year growth, while in August that figure was substantially greater, at 41 percent year-on-year growth.

In terms of major video brands, YouTube, Hulu, and Microsoft all experienced reductions in the amount of streams they delivered. Yahoo, however, grew both its number of total streams and its reach, month-over-month.

Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)
Metric December 2009 Year-Over-Year (%) Month-Over-Month (%)
Unique Viewers (000) 137,411 10.3 -0.7
Total Streams (000) 10,726,014 11.8 -4.0
Streams per Viewer 78.1 1.4 -3.3
Time per Viewer (min) 193.2 13.2 -3.4
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus
Top Online Brands ranked by Video Streams for December 2009 (U.S.)
Video Brand Total Streams (000) Unique Viewers (000)
YouTube 6,427,623 105,592
Hulu 634,880 13,638
Yahoo 243,846 27,533
Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network 142,349 5,758
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 141,235 13,540
Fox Interactive Media 125,397 10,914
Megavideo 111,004 3,389
Blinkx 108,445 615
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network 107,150 5,688
ESPN Digital Network 101,856 8,470
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

VideoCensus Methodology and Metrics: The Nielsen Company’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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