Any Way You Slice It: YouTube Dominates Online Video

comScore said today that US Internet users viewed 12 billion videos in May up 45% year-over-year. As expected, Google’s video properties dominated with 35% of the video market, 98% of that due to YouTube.

The reason? YouTubers are just more engaged than users on other sites. Though 27.4 million more people watched videos on YouTube than on MySpace (Fox Interactive Media sites came in second in the comScore Video Metrix report with 6.4% of the online video market), the real difference was in engagement. YouTube users watched an average of 50.4 videos per viewer compared to just 12.8 videos per viewer for MySpace. That’s likely either due to a stronger community at YouTube, or a better and broader selection of content — or both.

Even though Hulu, a joint venture between Fox and NBC that streams full-length movies and television shows, debuted on the list in 10th place with 88.2 million streams, short form remains the most popular type of online video. The average video length, according to comScore, was 2.7 minutes. The popularity of short clips online has been one of the reasons that web video has been so hard to monetize — pre, mid, or post-roll advertisements just don’t work well with videos under 3 minutes long.

comScore’s report paints a vastly different picture than a similar online video market report from Hitwise a couple of weeks ago. The May US video market numbers from Hitwise indicated a 9% year-over-year decline in the overall video market. That’s a significant difference from the large category growth that comScore reported. The only thing consistent between the two reports is Google’s dominance (though YouTube controls a whopping 75.43% of the video market according to Hitwise).

Such a wide discrepancy is likely due to the specific sites included in each company’s respective index. While Hitwise focuses on video-specific sites like YouTube, MySpace TV, and Veoh, comScore includes non-video-only sites such as Disney and ESPN.com in its report.

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