WGA strike may be contributing to surge in online video viewing


comScore released December data from the comScore Video Metrix service,  revealed that U.S. Internet users watched more than 10 billion videos online during the month, representing the single heaviest month for online video consumption since comScore initiated its tracking service. Top-ranked video property Google Sites saw substantial growth and extended its video market share gains, now accounting for nearly one out of every three videos viewed online. Online viewers watched an average of 3.4 hours (203 minutes) of online video during the month, representing a 34% gain since the beginning of 2007.

The average online video duration was 2.8 minutes. The average online video viewer consumed 72 videos.

"December represented a considerably strong month for online video viewing," said Erin Hunter, comScore EVP/media and entertainment. "With the writer’s strike keeping new TV episodes from reaching the airwaves, viewers have been seeking alternatives for fresh content. It appears that online video is stepping in to help fill that void."

Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6% share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97% of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5%), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4%) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3%).

In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million.