There are several important trends hidden in plain sight in the U.S. Online Video Rankings for July 2012, which comScore Media Metrix announced on Friday.
First, 184 million U.S. Internet users watched 36.9 billion online content videos in July 2012. This is up from 180 million in July 2011, 178 million in July 2010, 158 million in July 2009, 142 million in July 2008, and 134 million in July 2007. So, over the past five years, the number of Americans watching online video has increased 37.3 percent.
Second, the duration of the average online content video was 6.7 minutes in July 2012, which is up from was 5.3 minutes in July 2011, 4.8 minutes in July 2010, 3.7 minutes in July 2009, 2.9 minutes in July 2008, and 2.7 minutes in July 2007. So, over the past five years, the duration of the average online content video has increased 148.1 percent.
Third, the average American viewer watched online videos for 1,336.8 minutes (22.3 hours) in July 2012. This is up from 1,107.0 minutes (18.5 hours) of video viewing in July 2011, 882.0 minutes (14.7 hours) in July 2010, 500 minutes (8.3 hours) in July 2009, 235 minutes (3.9 hours) in July 2008, and 181 minutes (3 hours) in July 2007. So, over the past five years, the time spent viewing online videos has increased 638.6 percent.
The time spent watching online video has to come from somewhere (unless Americans are getting less sleep). And it’s not coincidental that viewing levels for the four big broadcast networks are down 6 percent (and 10 percent among young adults) this summer from last summer.
And the top ranked program on network TV in July 2012, The Baseball All-Star Game on Fox, drew 10.9 million viewers. By comparison, the July 2012 YouTube partner data from comScore Video Metrix revealed that video music channel VEVO drew 43.9 million viewers, while gaming channel Machinima captured 25.3 million viewers, Warner Music had 24.9 million, Maker Studios had 20.4 million, and FullScreen had 17.3 million.
Meanwhile, the top ranked program on cable TV in July 2012, the Home Run Derby on ESPN, drew 6.9 million viewers. By comparison, the July 2012 YouTube partner data from comScore Video Metrix revealed that BroadbandTV drew 9.8 million viewers, Alloy 7.7 had million, Big Frame had 7.4 million, and MOVIECLIPS had 7.2 million.
In other words, there are nine YouTube Partner channels with larger audiences than the top ranked program on cable TV and five YouTube Partner channels with larger audiences than the top ranked program on network TV.
So, has YouTube become the new, new network?
Google sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube, ranked as the top online video content property in July 2012 with 157 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook with 53 million, Yahoo sites with 48.7 million, VEVO with 44.8 million, and Microsoft sites with 42.7 million.
Nearly 36.9 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google sites generating the highest number at 19.6 billion, followed by AOL with 665 million. Google sites had the highest average engagement among the top 10 properties.
Americans viewed 9.6 billion video ads in July 2012, with each of the top four video ad properties delivering more than 1 billion video ads. Google sites ranked first with 1.5 billion ads, followed by Hulu with 1.2 billion, Adap.tv with 1.1 billion, SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace with 1 billion, and TubeMogul Video Ad Platform with 830 million. Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.9 billion minutes, with Adap.tv delivering the highest duration of video ads at 627 million minutes. Video ads reached 52 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 61 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 46, while ESPN delivered an average of 26 ads per viewer.
The budget for online video advertising has to come from somewhere (unless money grows on trees). So, as Daisy Whitney of ReelSEO reported back in December 2011, “According to a Break Media study of agencies and advertisers, about 2/3 of marketers say they’ll increase their budgets for online video ads this year, and some of them will be snagging that money from TV ads.”
So, it looks like agencies and advertisers have done just that in 2012. That’s another important trend that’s been hidden in plain sight for several months.