Facebook remains the No. 2 search engine behind Google, and some staggering video viewing stats released Thursday from comScore gives insight into how and why.
The comScore Video Metrix service reveals 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in August for an average of 14.3 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in more than 5.2 billion viewing sessions during the course of the month.
I'm not surprised at the number of views in one month as many opt for live streaming online content as well as videos rather than reaching for the television's remote control. In fact, I probably watch less than three hours per week of television vs. four hours a week online video and streaming content. Not much in total, I realize, but just enough to keep up on the news. Google Sites took the No. 1 positions with 146.3 million unique viewers, driven primarily by video at YouTube.com. The Mountain View, Calif., technology company's sites had the highest number of overall viewing sessions with 1.9 billion and average time spent per viewer at 270 minutes, or 4.5 hours.
Facebook jumped one position to capture the No. 2 spot, edging out Yahoo, with 58.6 million viewers, for a total of 243 million viewing sessions. Yahoo Sites ranked No. 3 with 53.9 million viewers, followed by VEVO with 45.4 million.
Soleio Cuervo and fellow engineer Chris Putnam conceptualized Facebook's video player years ago during a Hackathon, a sort of playground for company code hackers to experiment improving on all things Facebook. Each has its own theme. The two had decided the social network needed its own video player. In a way, Facebook's product development culture follows Google's. As more consumers share video clips and marketers tap into video to promote product and services it isn't difficult to see how Facebook could edge out Yahoo sites.
While the company employees the talent to create the products, management still needs to get a firmer grip on success and what it means to protect consumer privacy.
ComScore also analyzed online video advertisements and found Americans views more than 3.8 billion video ads in August. Video ads accounted for 10.7% of all videos viewed online and 1% of all minutes spent viewing video online last month, reaching 45% of the U.S. population an average of 28 times.
Hulu generated the highest number of video ad impressions at 790 million, or an average of 30 per person in one month in the United States. BrightRoll Video Network ranked No. 2 with 469 million ad views, followed by Tremor Media Video Network with 442 million, Microsoft Sites at 234 million, and Google sites at about 217 million.