This just handed me...according to an email from comScore about their press release distributed on PR Newswire and posted on their website, YouTube has just surpassed 100 million U.S. viewers for the first time. Ironically, there was no online video with the announcement.
Nevertheless, this is big news. According to the January 2009 data release today by the comScore Video Metrix service, more than 147 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 101 videos per viewer in January. This means 76.8% of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed 14.8 billion online videos during the month.
That's more people than watched Super Bowl XLIII on NBC!
According to comScore, the duration of the average online video was 3.5 minutes. This means that the average online video viewer watched 356 minutes of video in January -- approximately 6 hours a month.
That's more time than the Super Bowl pre-game, game and post-game coverage combined -- including the half-time show!
Leading the way was YouTube. You remember them. The video sharing site that Google acquired for $1.65 billion back in the fall of 2006.
100.9 million viewers watched 6.3 billion videos on YouTube.com in January -- 62.6 videos per viewer that month. That's makes YouTube the top U.S. video property. YouTube.com also accounted for more than 99% of the 6.4 billion videos viewed at Google Sites. This means the number of videos viewed at Google Video is now round off error.
And Yahoo! Video, which began as a video search engine, was launched in February 2008 with a new focus on Yahoo-hosted video only. In other words, it became a video sharing site -- like YouTube.
So, I think it's time to declare that video search engines are dead. They were killed by their siblings, video sharing sites. Even MySpace, which ranks second with 473 million videos viewed in January, is a video sharing site.
Since neither YouTube nor MySpace crawl the video on your website or blog, I think it is also time to declare that video search engine optimization is dead. You might still want to optimize your videos for YouTube, but if you don't upload them to YouTube, they will never be found in a YouTube search.
And YouTube search is just one of many ways that people discover videos on YouTube. I talked about this at SES London 2009 -- Li Evans of Key Relevance interviewed me about this surprising outcome afterwords. Check out the video interview below.
I plan to share this case study again at SES New York 2009 -- at the "Video Search Engine Optimization: 2009 and Beyond" session. Yes, this session will look at "how video search engine optimization (VSEO) has become the most important new use of search engine optimization today."
Hey, the description was written before the news was just handed to me. So, this should make for a pretty interesting discussion. Li is on the panel again, along with Gregory Markel, the Founder/President of Infuse Creative, Henry Hall, the Senior Product Manager of Microsoft Live Search, and Matthew Liu, the Product Manager of YouTube Sponsored Videos. The moderator is Jeff Ferguson, SES Advisory Board member and Director of Online Marketing at Napster.
Come early to get a front row seat. Or sit in the back or along the side of the room, near an electrical outlet, if you plan to live blog the session. Or, heck, just Tweet about it on your cell phone. The death of video search engines and video search engine optimization are going to be hot topics.