PBT Consulting

Consumers continue to make more room in their busy lives for online video, according to new Nielsen Online VideoCensus data. In May, the time U.S. consumers spent watching the stuff was up a full 48.9% year-over-year, which translates to 188.7 minutes spent.

By comparison, the average American watched approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home, according to recent first-quarter analysis from Nielsen’s A2/M2 “Anywhere Anytime Media Measurement” initiative.

Year-over-year, according to VideoCensus, total online video streams were up 34.8%, which amounts to a whopping 10,043,049,000 streams in May. Monthly streams per viewer, meanwhile, increased 19.6% over the past year to about 75, while the number of unique viewers was up 12.8% to 133,797,000. In April, Hulu recorded 373.3 million streams — up 490% year-over-year — which solidified its status as the fastest-growing premium video brand online.

For the record, Sequent Partners and Ball State University’s Center for Media Design — on behalf of the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence — recently found that the amount of time Americans spend watching Web video is vastly overstated.

The project, which directly observed how people spent their day using media, found that while they are growing rapidly, online video and mobile video still account for a small fraction of the amount of time Americans spend watching all forms of video content, including live TV programming, time-shifted television, DVDs, and video games.

To gather its data, Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus combines panel and census research methodologies to provide an account of viewing activity and engagement. Online video viewing is tracked according to video player, which can be used on the site or embedded elsewhere on the Web.

Courtesy of an article dated June 16, 2009 appearing in MediaPost Publications’ Online Media Daily

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