Consumers Engaging with Online Video

2009 brought big changes and big growth for the online video market. Consumers viewed 33.2 billion videos in December, generating a 132% increase over the same period in the previous year. Google continued to own the market with its YouTube property but Hulu moved into second place with 3% of the online video market. comScore statistics show that viewing online video is a widespread consumer activity with an online participation rate of 86.5%. The average time spent viewing one video increased to 4.1 minutes and each Hulu viewer spends 2.2 hour a month on the site.

This activity can be compared to December 2007, when 10 billion videos were viewed online and Google sites were the market leaders  with 32.6% share of videos viewed. A distant second, Fox Interactive Media had 3.5% of the market. Consumers spent an average of 2.8 minutes watching each video and looked at 72 videos that month. And in 2008, NBC and News Corp introduced Hulu. By December,  Hulu had climbed to 6th place with a 1.7% share of all videos viewed. More consumers were viewing, too. Total videos viewed that month climbed to 14.3 billion, marking a 43% increase over December, 2007. Google sites had 5.9 billion views or 41.2% of the market. In December 2008, the average video viewed was 3.2 minutes but over at Hulu, consumers spent 10.1 minutes watching videos.

Clearly, the overall audience for online video has trended up over the past two years and based on the current trajectory, this growth rate should continue for some time. In addition, consumers continue to spend more time watching individual videos and eventually, time spent viewing online video may decrease traditional TV viewing activity. This trend should encourage marketers to shift a larger portion of their online media budget to video to capture the attention of the growing market.

[Sources: Lipsman, Andrew, comScore, 2.5.2010, February 2008, February 2007 releases] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.