Google, AOL Cement Leads in Online Video Rankings

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Various sites owned by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), including YouTube, drew nearly 165 million unique U.S. viewers in October. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) clocked in with more than 70 million unique viewers, the second largest total. The figures come from comScore Inc.’s (NASDAQ: SCOR) Video Metrix service. All told nearly 189,000 million unique viewers in the U.S. watched 49.1 billion online videos in October. While viewer numbers are flat with September levels, a full 3 billion more videos were viewed.

Video advertising reached 56 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 141 times during the month. Video ad views totaled 24.5 billion, up from 22.9 billion in September and once again AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) led the pack with more than 4 billion ads viewed.

The total number of unique viewers at the Google-owned sites was essentially flat month-over-month, but Facebook boosted its number of unique viewers by about 3 million. As Facebook continues to integrate more short videos from Instagram, its numbers of unique video viewers should continue to climb. Just 70 million unique viewers from Facebook’s total user base of more than 1 billion is really a drop in the proverbial bucket. There is huge room for growth here and the opportunity has not eluded the company’s management.

AOL held on to its lead in video ads viewed, a position it wrestled away from Google in September. Google managed to finish second in the number of ads viewed, with about 3.6 million, but its reach is just 37.1% of the U.S. population compared with nearly 50% for AOL. One reason for AOL’s prominence here is that it delivered 1.8 billion ad minutes in October compared with just 371 million for all Google sites.

Like Facebook, Google needs to figure out a way to translate its huge video viewership numbers into ad revenues. AOL appears to use a carpet-bombing approach, while Google apparently takes a more targeted strategy. So far the AOL approach appears to be winning, although we should note that AOL’s numbers include views from its recent acquisition of Adap.tv

Here are a couple of other tidbits from comScore’s report:

  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.1 minutes, while the average online video ad lasted 0.4 minutes.
  • Just over 87% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed an online video in October
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