Posted September 30, 2009 6:40 am by with 11 comments

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Too Much Computer TimeThis week comScore has released the latest numbers regarding video viewed online and I am still scratching my head. According to the findings (remember class, repeat after me – “It’s research and research ain’t perfect”) in August of 2009 there were just over 25 billion videos viewed by the approximately 161 million US Internet users. That works out to be an average of 157 videos viewed per user during that time period. Google sites alone accounted for over 10 billion of those videos with 99% of that number coming from YouTube. This number eclipses the previous month’s results and I am wondering if this economy is a main contributor to this amount of ‘free time’.

I am still shaking my head. Maybe it’s just me but that seems ridiculously high. I am a heavy Internet user. I spend considerable hours everyday on the computer researching etc, etc but I come nowhere near watching 5 video clips per day. I admit I probably have the TV on too much so maybe being online is a vacation of sorts with regard to watching video. I don’t know. Am I just a really low user of online video content?

Take a look at the comScore chart below to see how just how dominant Google (which is 99% YouTube in this case) is in this space as well.

Small J comScore 8.2009 Video

So help me here. If you fall in line with these numbers, meaning you are a profile match to the just over 5 videos viewed per day type, what is it that you are watching? Of course, this is rated PG blog for the most part so anything deviant just keep to yourself and continue seeking help but please don’t share it here.

In fact, let’s take a look at a specific type of video viewing. Let’s keep it to marketing / advertising / product related videos. As marketers we need to be careful not to just look at this large number and automatically assume that everyone is watching videos about products or something that is related to our work. I have learned to never underestimate the power and allure of “stupid human tricks” video viewing which could simply be an escape mechanism for people at their desks who can’t wait to get out of the office.

What if the percentage of videos viewed that relate to marketing functions is just a small fraction of the total audience? That would be the number that we should be paying close attention to and not chase video’s version of a shiny object that will end up eating up valuable time and resources.

Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to hearing from you.

  • Between work and personal views I easily watch that number per month.
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Customers Are Searching the Web; Are They Finding Your Business? Marketing Event: September 29th, 2009 =-.

  • Clumps

    The number is not that high. I watch hundreds of ’em. Over a year maybe over a thousand. Some of my online friends watch many thousands a year, to some extent replacing television for them. And why not? It’s interactive and can be directly personal – something which television is not – making online video potentially more relevant to a person’s life.

  • Bo

    It is not that uncommon really. I mean, Web Pro News and even Marketing Pilgrim mix videos in with their content. Such as a Cutts interview or the ‘Bing Goes the Internet’ song, those count too, right?

    If that is correct, then it isn’t necessarily folks visiting YouTube or wasting time, but productive people at work furthering their knowledge and keeping themselves up to date as well. Many companies also now put demonstration videos of their products online as well.

  • Thanks for stopping by and commenting everyone. I suspect that my shock at the number of videos is because I am a sports fan so the TV is usually on in the background in the evening in some way so to watch more online is too much for me. I have to remember that that’s just ME though. Fortunately for the rest of you are probably are not like me at all 😉

    Gotta remember to stay out of the bubble when thinking about what the rest of the world does. I am not as normal as I think I am!
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..Sales Is Dead =-.

  • pete

    It seemed like a lot to me as well then I realised I probably watch at least 5 a day. It’s usually a mixture of TV shows I’ve missed and videos I come across on blogs and on twitter – I’d say blogs are what lead me to watch most of the videos. The actual content ranges from adverts (from advertising blogs) to funny/interesting video clips and even a light sprinkling of news related videos. I often find myself watching videos online when the TV is on, i think you get used to being able to focus on one thing while also still paying attention to something else.

  • That’s about how many Matt Cutts videos alone I watch every month ….

  • Compare viewing TV to the internet:
    TV viewing used to be measured in hours and not how many times we changed the channel. 157 views looks like how many times we changed the program. If this is the case it seems to be low especially when it comes to watching on line. Majorty of the people surf through channels. Also if I watching a live event I may be watching 4 or 5 events at the same time. So 157? Very low.

  • Seriously? Wow. I need to re-assess where I’m spending my time. Or re-assess how our site’s visitors prefer to spend their time. Now I don’t know which!

  • gian fulgoni

    To put online video into context, it’s important to realize that the number of videos watched per person equates to 10 hours per month. The average person in the US watches 130 hours of TV per month! So, online video is still only 8% of the time spent watching TV.

  • I too was confused about it. Then probably realized that there are a lot of embeds which you would watch even as you are browsing through productive websites..

    By the way, if you had Mashable on your Google reader, I bet you would have watched atleast double of 157!
    .-= Anand Srinivasan´s last blog ..UK: Ad Spend on Internet vs. TV =-.

  • I bet they aren’t counting all the time you try to watch a vid on and it won’t play because they cheap on the bandwidth either. That’s going to be another huge chuck of them.