Online Video: State of the Industry


Online video is booming.According to Comscore, January 2010 saw US viewers watching a staggering 32.4 billion videos online which is a 50% increase over January 2009. That’s 173 million users watching an average of 93 videos per month. France saw a 141% growth in total online videos viewed during the period of September 2008 until the same period in 2009. Similarly, Germany saw an increase in unique viewers of 38% during the period of Aug08-Aug09. This suggests a massive increase in the acceptance and use of online video as a means of entertainment and to receive information. All of which bodes well for those seeking to utilise this burgeoning market but there are a few issues that may be concerning.

For example, Nielsen’s figures show that while there was a 10.5% increase in unique viewers over the 2009 figures, February saw a downturn over January 2010. This is most likely due to seasonal factors. The trend is for a slowing during that part of the year (2009 saw a much sharper dip) however it is certainly something to watch.

The Google Sites (YouTube and Google Video) continue their dominance serving up almost 13 billion videos and controlling 39.5% of the market. Hulu keeps making in-roads delivering almost three times as many videos in Jan 2010 than they did in Jan 2009. The big loser is Fox Interactive (including MySpace), which is serving up only half as many videos as they did a year ago.

However Fox remains a potent force in delivering unique users. They deliver more in fact than Hulu but still behind Google, Yahoo and CBS Interactive. Viacom, Microsoft, Facebook, Vevo and AOL complete the top ten. Vevo is of particular interest not only because the site was only launched in December 2009, but also because its user-base is restricted to only a few regions. It will be very interesting to see how the popularity grows as more regions are added.

The growing popularity of Hulu’s long form videos has increased the duration of the average online video from 3.5 minutes a year ago to 4.1 minutes in January 2010. In fact the average Hulu user now spends nearly 245 minutes viewing 23.5 videos per month. Compared to the average YouTube user who spends 108 minutes watching 93.9 videos per month there’s a definite difference in viewing pattern demographics. This needs to be taken into consideration when targeting those demographics.

Overall the beginning of the year has, despite the seasonal hiccup trend, provided a positive start. Online video continues to attract both advertisers and audiences at a staggering rate. Thus proving that online video is no longer the next big thing, online video is the big thing and it is happening now.

About the Author: skribe

Based in Perth, Australia, Antonio Barimen (aka skribe) is a writer, digital media consultant and social media producer.

He is available to help you develop social marketing and digital media strategies, improving communication between staff, partners and suppliers or just increasing the number of fans on Facebook. He has developed successful digital and social media projects for clients including CBS, Evian, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Networks, Pernod Ricard and American Express.

Connect with him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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Post Under Marketing, Video March 16, 2010

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