comScore: Online Video Content Reaches Record 188 Million U.S. Viewers

comScore LogoToday comScore released the latest data from its Video Metrix service, which shows that 188 million U.S. Internet users watched 37.7 billion online content videos in August 2012. That’s an all-time high. Video ad views that month totaled 9.5 billion.

Other key findings from August 2012 include:

  • 87.3 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 6.7 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 20.1 percent of all videos viewed and 1.4 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

Google sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube, ranked as the top online video content property in August with 150.2 million unique viewers. Google sites were followed by Yahoo sites with 55 million unique viewers, Microsoft sites with 53.7 million, VEVO with 49.3 million, and Facebook with 47.7 million.

Nearly 37.7 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google sites generating the highest number at 13.8 billion, followed by AOL with 725 million. According to comScore, Google sites had the highest average engagement among the top 10 properties.

Normally, Search Engine Watch would compare this data with similar data from that same month in 2011. However, comScore introduced three important methodological enhancements with the release of its August 2012 U.S. Video Metrix data that make it problematic to compare year-over-year trends:

  • The incorporation of updated demographic universe estimates based on data from the 2010 U.S. census. This provides an improved accounting of the percentage of the population falling into each demographic segment.
  • An improvement in comScore’s enumeration survey methodology to better represent persons in cell-phone only households.
  • A new technique to account for cookie rejection in Safari browsers, for sites measured via comScore’s Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) methodology.

Going forward, this data will be useful. However, the effects of these changes to the August 2012 U.S. Video Metrix data prompted comScore to advise “caution” when interpreting even month-over-month trends let alone year-over-year trends.

Nevertheless, there is still a lot of other interesting data in the August 2012 report.

For example, Americans viewed 9.5 billion video ads in August, with each of the top 4 video ad properties delivering more than 1-billion video ads. Google sites ranked first with more than 1.7 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Video Network with 1.4 billion, and with 1.2 billion, Hulu with 1.1 billion.

Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.5 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 717 million minutes. Video ads reached 54 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 58 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 51, while Google sites delivered an average of 19 ads per viewer.

In addition, the August 2012 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the rankings with 47.6 million viewers. VEVO was followed by Warner Music with 24.8 million viewers, Machinima with 21.9 million viewers, Maker Studios with 20.9 million, and FullScreen with 18.9 million.

apples-oranges-paul-cezanneAmong the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement with 85 minutes per viewer, followed by Maker Studios with 47 minutes per viewer. VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos with 569 million, followed by Machinima with 529 million.

Since looking backwards would be comparing apples and oranges, let’s look sideways to see how online video stacks up to other comparable data.

On Sept. 12, 2012, comScore released its Media Metrix data for August 2012. That data included the three important methodological changes that were made in the August 2012 U.S. Video Metrix data.

According to comScore Media Metrix, Amazon Sites had 103.9 million unique visitors in August and eBay had 75.5 million. And according to comScore Video Metrix, 188 million U.S. Internet users watched online content videos that month.

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