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The number of total online video streams, unique viewers of online video, streams per viewer and time per viewer all showed year-over-year increases in October 2009, led by a 26% growth in total streams and a 24% jump in time per viewer, according to US data from The Nielsen Company.

For the month, Nielsen reported a total of 138.6 million unique viewers, 11.2 billion total video streams, 81 streams per viewer and an average of 212.5 minutes per viewer.

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Though all measures showed increases over October 2008, month-over-month statistics show only modest increases in total streams (1.9% growth), streams per viewer (2.4% growth), and an 8.9% increase in time per viewer. The number of unique video viewers declined 0.5% vs. September 2009 numbers.

Top Online Brands

Though YouTube continues to reign as the top-ranked brand for video streams, the number of streams have declined from? 6.69 billion in September 2009 to 6.63 billion in October. Yahoo has also seen a decline in video viewing and has moved from #3 in September to #5 in October.

In contrast, Facebook has moved from the #10 position in September to the #3 position in October, serving up nearly 218 million video streams (vs. 110 million last month). Hulu remains at #2, showing healthy growth from 437 million streams in September to nearly 633 million in October.

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SocNet Viewing Grows 98%

October stats from Nielsen also reveal that the time spent viewing video on social networks continues to grow, posting a 98% year-over-year increase -? from 503.8 million minutes in October 2008 to 999.4 million minutes in October 2009 – according to Nielsen.

The number of online video streams viewed on social networking and blog sites increased 45%? year-over-year, from 240.8 million streams in October 2008 to 349.5 million in October 2009.

For the second month in a row, Facebook ranked as the #1 online social networking and blog destination in October 2009, with 217.8 million total video streams viewed during the month. Myspace.com (85.2 million)? and Stickam (26.3 million) clocked in at #2 and #3, respectively. Ning placed at #4, Nielsen said.

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Facebook Viewing Rises 1,840%
Nielsen reported that Facebook’s online video viewing audience has experienced meteoric growth since October 2008. Year-over-year, total time spent viewing video on Facebook increased 1,840% – from 34.9 million minutes in October 2008 to 677.0 million in October 2009.

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The number of unique viewers of video increased 548% and total streams grew 987% during the same time period, Nielsen said.

“During the past year, online video viewing has become central to the web experience,” said said Jon Gibs, Nielsen VP of media analytics. “In conjunction with this increase, we are seeing remarkable growth in video viewing on social networking sites and it is only natural that these two trends would converge in consumers’ minds, making sites like Facebook and MySpace.com, increasingly important distribution points for both consumer and professionally generated video.”

Gibs also noted that social networking sites, including facebook, are evolving from simple communications platforms to ones that provide richer venues for personal expression “in the full variety of content formats available online.”

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