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Facebook Climbs in Video Rankings

17 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Facebook’s shares may be worth half their initial public offering three months ago, with calls for founder Mark Zuckerberg to step down as CEO escalating — but that didn’t stop the social media site from climbing to No. 2 in video views in July, according to the latest data from comScore.

Facebook ended the month with 53 million unique video viewers — a distant second to perennial leader YouTube, which topped with 157 million unique viewers. The average Facebook viewer watched 21.7 minutes of video content, which was up from 17.9 minutes during the same month in 2011 when the social media site ranked third behind music video site Vevo and YouTube.

Facebook also upped its video viewership to more than 53 million unique users compared with more than 51 million last year.

Separately, Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal, dropped to No. 2 in video ads viewed behind YouTube. Hulu, which includes subscription video-on-demand service Hulu Plus, generated 1.2 billion video ad views, which trailed YouTube with 1.5 billion video ads viewed.

Notably, YouTube didn’t even rank among the leaders in video ads a year ago when Americans viewed more than 5.3 billion video ads in July 2011, according to comScore. By comparison, Americans viewed more than 9.6 billion video ads in July this year — underscoring the exponential shift in the number of online video ads and Google-owned YouTube’s capture of that growth.

Video ads reached 52% of the total U.S. population an average of 61 times during the month. Hulu (which includes ads in Hulu Plus) delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 46, while ESPN.com delivered an average of 26 ads per viewer.

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