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New Record: US Internet Users Watched 21.4 Billion Videos in July

comscore_logo_aug09.pngJuly turned out to be the biggest month for watching Internet video yet. According to comScore, Internet users in the US watched 21.4 billion videos in July, up 88% from last year. Google’s YouTube streamed 9 billion of these videos, followed by video sites from Viacom and Microsoft. In terms of unique users, YouTube gets only twice as many visitors as Microsoft’s video sites. On YouTube, however, people watched an average of 74 videos in July, while they watched only around 10 videos on Microsoft’s sites and 19 on Viacom’s online video properties.

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Online video has come a long way since the days of postage stamp-sized clips in a RealPlayer embed. In July, the average online video viewer watched 8.3 hours of video, up from 7.6 hours in June. Overall, 81% of the US Internet audience watched online video last month.

In total, the average viewer watched about 135 video clips. While full-length shows are becoming more popular, it is still important to note that the average video is only 3.7 minutes long. Hulu, which focuses on full-length TV shows, also recorded its best month yet, with 457 million views.

Another Record-Breaking Month

June, according to comScore, already broke most records, but at that time, the company credited the surge to the large number of high-profile events (including the death of Michael Jackson and the elections in Iran). ComScore argues that TV viewers are turning to the Internet right now because most of the shows on TV are currently on summer hiatus. While this probably plays some role in this current growth in interest in online video, we would also argue that a lot of viewers are simply changing their viewing habits and have moved away from watching shows on traditional TV and cable networks. Instead, they are watching popular clips on YouTube and full-length shows on Hulu.

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