January Online Ad Views Take a Big Dip, Again


The January comScore Video Rankings has some nuggets of interest, if only that in the big scheme of things, in which online video stats keep going up, up, up, January was different. Last month, Americans viewed substantially fewer online video ad than they did the month before—9.1 billion in January compared to 11.3 billion in December.

In fact, that December figure was a record for video ad viewership. .

But it just might be that the holiday shopping season brings out more Internet browsers who bump into more online videos and more ads. Last January, video ad viewership fell to 5.6 billion, from 7.1 billion ad views in December, 2011, suggesting that something must happen to online viewership patterns in December and January that is a little different from the rest of the year.

Still, 9.1 billion views is low, even if we’re talking about billions of online ads. In fact, it’s the lowest since last March, which again, in a business where numbers keep going up, January’s figures could seem a little low.  In April of  last year, comScore said ad views reached. 9.5 billion, and it kept going from there, reaching 10 billion in May and what was a record 11 billion in June.

Since then ad views went like this:







There are some other down figures for January, though none quite so dramatic as the one I just detailed.  According to comScore, 83.5% of the Internet audience watched online video, down from 84.9% the month before. They actually watched a little bit more—the average content video was 5.7 minutes compared to 5.4 minutes in December.

Ads accounted for 20.1% of all videos viewed, compared to 22.6% the month before. Year to year, it’s evident those watching are watching a lot more advertising. In January 2012, ads accounted for only 12.2% of all the minutes spent watching online video. That’s a significant bump up.

As is always the case, Google Sites led all others ranked by unique views, with 149.9 million viewers who watched 12.3 billion videos and an average engagement of 391.2 minutes. Google Sites also showed 1.8 billion video ads, also tops.

In second place for online video views was Facebook with 56.9 million viewers who watched a 425.8 million videos, a record for the social networker, whose members at the same time last year watched “only” 249 million videos.

In the video ad tabulation, Google’s 1.8 billion ads were trailed by BrightRoll Video’s 1.5 billion, Hulu’s 1.3 billion, Adap.TV’s 1.1 billion and down from there. One asterisk: CBS Interactive was ninth on the list with 566.6 million ads, but in terms of frequency, or ads per viewer, notched 21.2, second only to  Hulu which, with 56.9 per viewer, led the pack.

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