YouTube Leads Growth in U.S. Online Video Viewing

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Americans are watching more videos than ever online, and YouTube accounts for nearly half of that growth, according to a study by the comScore Video Metrix service. U.S. Internet users watched a record 14.3 billion online videos in December 2008, a 13 percent increase over the previous month. Google dominated the online video space with a 41 percent market share. Obviously, that means a lot of people are watching YouTube clips, which account for more than 99 percent of all videos viewed at Google sites, according to comScore.

So just how dominant is YouTube? It had more than 100 million viewers in December, which represents two out of three Internet users who watched online video. Overall, nearly 150 million U.S. Net users watched an average of 96 videos that month, the study says.

YouTube fans watched some 5.9 billion videos in December. Fox Interactive Media was a distant second with 445 million videos viewed (3.1 percent), followed by Yahoo (330 million, 2.3 percent) and Viacom Digital (291 million, 2.0 percent), respectively.

Hulu’s showing was impressive, as its numbers grew 6 percent vs. November to 241 million videos watched. We’ll have to wait and see what effect, if any, its clever Super Bowl ad with Alec Baldwin will have on its site traffic.

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