comScore February 2012 Online Video Rankings Yields Some Surprises

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comScore has released their rankings of online video sites for February 2012 and, though I know this will come as a shock to most of you, Google was once again the top-ranked video site. Walking with the heavy thud of its well-worn YouTube boots, Google's numbers remained high in spite of taking a slight decline from January's rankings. However, the overall numbers of total unique viewers, videos, and minutes watched per viewer were all lower in February. More peculiar than Google's slight drop is Yahoo adding over 10,000,000 unique viewers from last month, jumping all the way up to the second-highest ranked online video site. Also, last month I speculated whether Amazon's just-announced partnership with Viacom would boost the site's then-ninth ranking but, instead, it's disappeared completely from the top ten content properties for February. I now hesitate to speculate on whether Amazon's new deal with Discovery Communications will do anything to improve its rankings so, well, let's just wait until next month to find out if it has an impact.

In terms of online video ad properties, someone told Google that there was one aspect of the internet that they weren't dominating and so they decided to start remedying that problem this month. Nowhere among the top ten top U.S. ad properties last month, Google surged forth to claim the second spot on this month's list. comScore explains the drastic jump, "Google Sites’ video ad data includes a sizable increase vs. previous months due to the recent inclusion of certain YouTube ad formats in our reporting. Any changes vs. previous months should not be treated as organic growth. In addition, Google Sites’ video ad data currently does not include promoted videos on YouTube or homepage ads."

Even with this appearance of Google towards the top of the list, Hulu added over 100,000,000 more ad views in February, which was a a record-high number of video ad impressions. Doesn't look like they'll be relinquishing their number one spot easily.

Among YouTube partner channels, the Warner Bros.' channel associated with The Ellen Show landed at the sixth highest ranked channel after not even appearing on the list in the earlier two months of 2012. Most of that attention may be owed to the last month's controversy after JCPenney's partnership with Ellen Degeneres became the target of a planned boycott by a bunch of "pro-family" activist-trolls, One Million Moms, who took to Facebook in order to pressure the retailer to drop Degeneres as a spokesperson. Facebook supporters of Degeneres, however, turned out in force and ultimately dwarfed the number of One Million Moms, eventually turned back the anti-Ellen boycott. While it's hard to conclusively argue that the social media flare-up resulted in The Ellen Show's YouTube channel getting that much of an increase in traffic, what else could it possibly have been that boosted it out of nowhere?

Did you know: the average online video was 6:12 long where the average online video ad was less than 0:30 long. Television broadcasters are limited to a maximum of 12 minutes of ads per hour. As much as those ads leading YouTube videos, just keep in mind that, while it's inconvenient, it's not quite as much as you'd be seeing if you were watching TV.