Do We Really Watch That Many Online Videos?

    September 30, 2009

This 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.