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Total video streams, streams per viewer and time per viewer were all up in December 2009, led by 13% growth in time per viewer, according to US online video viewing data from The Nielsen Company. The December 2009 Nielsen VideoCensus reveals that unique viewers of online video topped 137 million for the month, representing a 10.3% year-over-year increase. Total streams viewed totaled more than 10.7 billion, a nearly 12% increase over 2008. Approximately 78 streams per viewer were watched, a 1.4% increase over 2008.? Time per viewer increased 13.2% to 193.2 minutes, Nielsen said.

All of the metrics, however,? showed month-over-month declines vs. November 2009:

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Top Online Brands for Videos Viewed

In its ranking of top online brands for video streams, Nielsen reported that Google’s YouTube – with more than 6.4 billion streams and 105 million unique viewers – continues to reign as the #1 brand in December 2009. Hulu, which has climbed into the #2 position, Yahoo, Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network and MSN/Windows Live/Bing round out the top five on the top 10 list:

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In a comparison with the Nielsen data, comScore Inc. – which uses a different methodology to measure online video viewing – recently reported that more than 170 million US internet users watched online video during November 2009, and a record high of nearly 31 billion videos were viewed during the month.

Google, Hulu, Viacom Digital and Microsoft topped the comScore list as the properties with the most videos viewed, according to the firm.

About the data: Nielsen VideoCensus combines patented panel and census research methodologies to provide a count of viewing activity and engagement along with in-depth demographic reporting. Online video viewing is tracked according to video player, which can be used on site or embedded elsewhere on the web. For example, if a Saturday Night Live clip from NBC.com is embedded on a personal blog, that video would be attributed to NBC because of the NBC video player. A unique viewer is anyone who viewed a full episode, part of an episode or a program clip during the month. A stream is a program segment. VideoCensus measurement includes progressive downloads and does not include video advertising.

With regard to these numbers, Nielsen continues to note that because of enhancements to its system that took effect in June 2009 trending of previously-reported data with current results, for some sites, may show percentage differences attributable to these product enhancements and should only be compared directionally.

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