Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nielsen: Online Video Use Skyrockets

Online video engagement by Internet users is deepening, according to a new report on the online landscape released last week by The Nielsen Company.

Nielsen Online CEO John Burbank takes a look at the economic and advertising impacts of the report.

Highlights of the report:

* The number of American users frequenting online video destinations has climbed 339 percent since 2003.

* Time spent on video sites has shot up almost 2,000 percent over the same period.

* In the last year alone, unique viewers of online video grew 10 percent, the number of streams grew 41 percent, the streams per user grew 27 percent and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71 percent.

Nielsen also reports that video viewing has been a key element in the success of President Obama's revamped WhiteHouse.gov Website.

The proliferation of video across the site, from the President’s weekly video address to video segments on the site’s blog, has helped spur this impressive growth. Unique viewers of video content increased 236 percent month-over-month, growing from 75,000 in February to 252,000 in March 2009, while total video streams increased 350 percent during the same time period.

What's fascinating is that it's not just young folks who are tuned in to online video: "Unique viewers 35 to 49 were 78 percent more likely to view video on WhiteHouse.gov than the average viewer, while people 65 and older were 48 percent more likely."

An experimental new video feature on whitehouse.gov, Open for Questions, was launched this March, allowing the President to address questions posed by citizens via online video. Reports Nielsen: "Open for Questions was one of the top subdomains visited within WhiteHouse.gov, receiving 618,000 unique visitors during the month." (By its own measure, the site itself additionally reports that 92,937 people have submitted 103,978 questions.)

Online video comes of age.

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