Americans are starting to feel the love for watching videos online in a big way, with YouTube proving by far and away the most popular video site.
According to market researchers ComScore, American web surfers watched 12.7 billion online videos through November, a hefty leap of 34 percent against the viewing figures a year ago.
YouTube, owned by Google, is still the hottest U.S. video property, notching up nearly 5.1 billion videos viewed – which equal to 40 percent of all videos viewed online.
The video-sharing site also accounted for more than 98 percent of Google’s traffic – a figure that makes nearest rivals
Fox Interactive Media look like sweaty strugglers, limping along with just 439 million videos watched (or 3.5 percent). Even further behind in third place is Viacom Digital who registered 325 million videos watched (2.6 percent).
Comscore’s figures revealed that over three quarters (77 percent) of all U.S. Internet users had viewed online videos last year, with the average online video viewer watching a total of 273 minutes of video.
We imagine that Google will be a-whoopin’ with joy at these figures, with the huge viewing figures set to drive a lucrative online ad market around video.
The market for video ads has been predicted to grow 45 percent to $850 million this year, with a December eMarketer study forecasting massive growth in the coming years: $1.25 billion in 2010; $1.85 billion in 2011; $3 billion in 2012; and $4.6 billion in 2013.