Digital Media, Google, Video

In Case You Didn’t Know It, Video is Huge

This chart (and related stories) released by Comscore got a lot of attention last week.

Facebook is now the #1 site in the United States as measured in “time spent” with 41 billion usage minutes per month. Google is now in second place, with 39.8B minutes, and Yahoo in third place (37.7B minutes).

It got me wondering: how do YouTube and other video sites stack up in terms of time spent?

First interesting discovery: based on the chart below from Comscore, “video” (meaning, YouTube) accounts for 37.5B out of Google’s 39.8B minutes of usage (math is: 144M unique viewers X 261 minutes usage per viewer). That means almost 95% of the time people spend on Google is spent on YouTube. 95%! Unbelievable.

But it makes sense. The chart above shows Google’s percentage share of minutes spent increasing steadily and rapidly from Q3 2006 onwards — right when they bought YouTube.

Given Google’s mission to capture more display revenues (partcicularly branded video display revenues) the value YouTube has provided is incredible. It was a steal — a steal — at $1.6B.

Wrap your head around that for a moment.

Total time watching video online according to Comscore is 154 billion minutes per month (177M people X 870 minutes per viewer), or 2.6 billion hours per month. Or the equivalent of 4 Facebook’s worth of usage.

While Facebook scores reasonably high in terms of total viewers for video on its site (43M), total minutes spent watching videos pales in comparison to YouTube and Hulu; roughly 866M minutes of usage, compared to 37.5B on YouTube and 3.3B minutes on Hulu and 2.7B on Vevo. (As an aside, I’m curious whether the Facebook measurement includes minutes spent watching embedded videos on Facebook, or just Facebook-hosted videos).

The fact that YouTube accounts for such a massive and overwhelming percentage of time spent on Google services is the thing that boggles my mind. Have I somehow gotten my math wrong?

UPDATE: One additional observation: unlike Google, minutes spent watching videos is just a small fraction of the time people spend on Yahoo! While Yahoo! is #2 in terms of reach, it’s a laggard in terms of minutes spent; just 755M minutes of usage per month, or 2% of the overall time people spend with Yahoo! services. Clearly an area where they’ll need to make progress if they are to compete for brand dollars in video advertising.


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