14.6 Hours of Online Video per Viewer, 5.9B Online Video Ads in December 2010

14.6 Hours of Online Video per Viewer, 5.9B Online Video Ads in December 2010

comScore put out their Video Metrix for the final month of 2010 last week, I just didn't get around to it until now. They say, that again, 172 million U.S. users watched video online and they averaged 14.6 hours per viewer. We almost topped 6B video ads against 5.2B video viewing sessions. Oh and 14.6 hours for every single one of the 172 million Americans would be 286,476.5 years of video watching, just in December 2010. Holy Moley! Looking back in time, Homo Sapiens were just parting ways with Homo Erectus that long ago. Light from the Sculptor Dwarf galaxy, a satellite of the Milky Way, is just reaching Earth today after having traveled that long. Neat!

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google again holds the top spot (like they'll ever lose it), thanks to YouTube which I predict will hit almost $2B in revenue in 2011. In December of last year they grabbed up 144.8 million unique viewers (down 14.6 Hours of Online Video per Viewer, 5.9B Online Video Ads in December 2010from 145.8 in Nov. 2010) but bumped up their viewing sessions by about 50 million. The average minutes per viewer was also up 3 minutes which means they actually more minutes shown for the month even though they lost a million unique viewers (39.5B vs 39.7B minutes). That's about 75,000 years of video viewing, in a single month. 75,000 years ago the Earth was in the tail end of the Pleistocene period and experiencing the last glacial period when the Tahoe glacial maxima was about at its height, which later formed the Great Lakes. How's that for some random facts for you? I just wanted to add some further diversity to your online video statistics reading.

After Google again is Yahoo! who shed a cool 8.8 million unique visitors (most likely due to the death of Yahoo! Video). Even though they only had 53M unique viewers they did have more viewing sessions and minutes per viewer but still lost minutes overall (about 400M less). By comparison Yahoo! video viewers watched 3 years of video last month. VEVO maintained their market share and added an extra 300M unique viewers and added 4.5 minutes per viewer. They're really on the up and up and look poised to topple Yahoo! in January and take over the number two spot. But are they strong enough to climb up to Google? They need a fivefold growth to do it so it looks doubtful.

The only change to the chart was NBCU dropping off from 9th in November and Hulu taking the 10th spot. Hulu, by the way, also has a massive minutes per viewer average. That's 10,935 years of video viewing last month at Hulu crushing everyone but Google. Traveling back that far would put you right around the founding of Jericho...

Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Video Content Views
Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
December 2010
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Video Metrix
PropertyTotal Unique Viewers (000)Viewing Sessions (000)Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience172,1095,156,086873.1
Google Sites144,7571,924,214274.3
Yahoo! Sites53,050191,36730.0
VEVO50,594266,44889.9
AOL, Inc.48,550252,56131.2
Viacom Digital45,880148,32151.6
Facebook.com41,119124,54614.6
Microsoft Sites36,589132,74750.4
Fox Interactive Media28,90290,95919.3
Turner Digital26,94389,20423.4
Hulu26,493131,127217.1

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

US online video viewers watched an additional 500M video ads in December than November 2010. Hulu of course topped the chart again showing some 1.23B video ads for the month. Now that's impressive in and of itself, but Tremor Media (the highest ranked video ad network) jumped up and topped 1B as well, more than doubling their ads per month from November. Oddly they only showed 11.8 ads per viewer to do it as opposed to 7.1 for November and the 47.1 that Hulu shows. Of course Tremor reaches 3.5x the amount of people that Hulu does. In fact, Tremor Media has the largest percentage reach of total US Population for the month (28.6%).

On TV, a 30-minute program contains 8 minutes of advertisements. At 30 seconds per ad that's 16 per show or 32 per hour. Of course, if you're talking prime time it's more like 19:16 per hour or about 39 ads per hour.

Let's manipulate that to see how many ads Hulu is showing in comparison. We know that on average the Hulu user watch 217.1 minutes of content in December 2010 and were shown 47.1 ads. That's an advertisement every 4.75 minutes, often 15-30 seconds each. On television it's one minute of ads for every 2.75 minutes of content. If we take the average online video ad length (as reported by comScore) of 0.4 minutes, that's about 19 minutes of ads for 217.1 minutes of content at Hulu for an average of one minute of ads per 11.4 minutes of content. Any higher and I think they risk losing viewers.

Now Hulu is basically showing TV content online and they have high bills to pay, mostly licensing fees for the content, even though the company is owned by a conglomerate of companies that provide the content. Doesn't that sound like double dipping or worse...

The TV Content Triple Dip

FOX makes/purchases programs and gets paid (first dip) to show advertisements against it as it broadcasts the content on TV. Then, they sell the content to Hulu for a fee (double dip). Hulu shows the content online and is paid to run advertisements against it. FOX then gets a share of that ad money as they are a part owner of the company (triple dip!).

In the rest of the world that would be called SCAM!

Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Video Ads* Viewed
Ranked by Video Ads Viewed
December 2010
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Video Metrix
PropertyVideo Ads (000)Frequency (Ads per Viewer)% Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience5,910,64639.849.1
Hulu1,227,92947.18.6
Tremor Media Video Network**1,021,69311.828.6
ADAP.TV**681,54311.919.0
BrightRoll Video Network**587,9468.722.3
Microsoft Sites423,00010.213.7
CBS Interactive271,4618.910.1
AOL, Inc.231,8846.711.5
Undertone**226,8229.28.1
Google Sites223,8424.815.3
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform**174,0624.114.2

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include
other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players,
matching banner ads, homepage ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network

Other notable findings from December 2010 include:

  • The top video ad networks in terms of their potential reach of the total U.S. population were: Tremor Media at 51.4 percent, BrightRoll Video Network at 40.6 percent and Break Media at 39.7 percent.
  • 84.6 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.0 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 16.4 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.


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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    Wow, the avg. length of video watched just keeps on going up. I remember when we were right around 3 minutes and I figured that was the safe amount to be. Any thoughts out there on the attention span of viewers... is it really getting that much longer (5 min.)?

    • Christophor Rick

      Remember now that's just the average. It doesn't mean that many of the videos being watched are 5 minutes in length. A standard half-hour comedy is 22 minutes or so of content meaning that one of those accounts for 4 videos in the average.

      Also I think this might also be partly because of YouTube lifting the video length limit recently from 10 to 15 minutes but most likely more because of places like Hulu, VEVO and AOL (who has now turned to original and rebroadcast content).

      In fact, if you look at the top 10 sites, most of them are probably more focused on long-form content (VEVO, FOX, Hulu, Viacom, Turner and AOL).

      Or maybe it's just a move away from music videos into more interesting content :)