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Report: Online Video Views Surged During Writers Strike

13 Feb, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A dearth of new TV shows during the writers strike likely resulted in a record 10 billion online video views in December — a 34% increase from the same period last month, according to a new media report.

ComScore Inc., a Reston, Va.-based media metrics company, said about 141 million Americans (76.7% of all U.S. Internet users) watched videos online in December.

Google Inc., whose sites (including YouTube.com) generated 79 million unique viewers and 43% market share, was the top frequented online video property, followed by Fox Interactive Media (MySpace.com) with 43.9 million viewers and 23.9% market share.

Other sites included Yahoo with 38.2 million viewers (20.8% market share), Time Warner with 27.1 million viewers (14.8%), Viacom (24.5 million, 13.3%), Microsoft (Xbox Live) with 20 million viewers (10.9%), Walt Disney (12.2 million, 6.7%), ESPN (10 million, 5.4%), Apple (iTunes) with 9.4 million viewers (5.1%) and Amazon (Unbox) with 7.7 million views and 4.2% market share.

“With the writers strike keeping new TV episodes from reaching the airwaves, viewers have been seeking alternatives for fresh content,” said Erin Hunter, EVP of media and entertainment with ComScore. “It appears that online video is stepping up to help fill that void.”

The report found that 77.6 million viewers watched 3.2 billion videos on YouTube and 40.5 million watched 334 million videos on MySpace.

Overall online video viewing averaged 3.4 hours per viewer in December. The average Web video was 2.8 minutes and the average viewer watched 72 videos.

With more than 50% of online video viewing unaccounted for, did it seem reasonable to suggest a bulk of the remaining traffic watched online adult videos?

“No, that is not a safe assumption,” said Andrew Lipsman, senior manager of industry analysis with ComScore. “There is a great deal of long-tail video content that is not adult content.”

Top Online Video Properties (December)

1. Google, 3.3B videos, 32.6% market share
2. Fox, 358M, 3.5%
3. Yahoo, 340M, 3.4%
4. Viacom , 237M, 2.3%
5. Microsoft, 180M, 1.8%
6. Time Warner, 174M, 1.7%
7. Walt Disney, 123M, 1.2%
8. ESPN, 84M, 0.8%
9. Apple, 50M, 0.5%
10. ABC.com, 47M, 0.5%

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