New Comscore data serves to remind online video analysts that only one property has substantial scale and that the balance of the companies in the sector lag hopelessly behind. This means that the chances for video to make huge contributions to the revenue of most sites which incorporate it are very limited. It also indicates that if YouTube’s parent Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) ever discovers a way to get a reasonable yield from video traffic, the search engine company will have a substantial source of revenue beyond its traditional one.
Comscore data for October shows that unique visitors to all online sites totaled 182.6 million. “More than 37 billion video content views occurred during the month,” according to the report. Additionally, “video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in October with 153.2 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) Sites with 55.3 million, NDN with 53.2 million, VEVO with 53.1 million and AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) with 53.1 million.”
The most extraordinary number from the Comscore report is number of minutes of video viewed each month by site. For YouTube, the number is 400 minutes. For the next site by this measure, NDN, the figure is 74 minutes. Most portals, which hope to make money on video ads which carry high CPMs actually have very little “viewing” time by visitors. For MSN, owned by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) the figure is 44 minutes. For Yahoo!, 53 minutes, and for AOL, 46 minutes.
YouTube has been a failure to the extent that with it huge audience and extraordinary numbers of minutes viewed, its revenue is too small to considered meaningful to Google from a revenue standpoint.
The revolution of video on the web looks good as a way for publishers to make money. However, a size, YouTube does not make money, and the balance of the sites are too small based on visitors and minutes viewed to gain much advantages in sales.
Douglas A. McIntyre