Viewers Gobbling Up Video Online, But Mostly Google

comScore released its Video Metrix report on Tuesday which revealed that almost 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched 158 minutes of online video in May. Google sites topped the monthly rankings, and the average video stream duration was 2.5 minutes. Fox Interactive Media placed second.

A similar report by Nielsenis NetViews and NetRatings services found a 16% jump in video viewing by U.S. Broadband customers for the six month period of September 2006 to March 2007.

The Nielsen study found, however, that Internet viewing of video is not replacing traditional TV viewing, and gave TV viewing a net audience gain. This is supported by the comScore data which, given Google as the number one site and the average stream of 2.5 minutes, at about two per day, suggests that Internet users are viewing short clips, music videos, snippets from TV shows, user submitted videos, etc, while TV viewership remains based on full length TV shows, sports and movies.

Referring to the Nielsen study, Tim Brooks, Executive Vice President, Research, Lifetime Television. "This new study helps us understand the impact of this radically new method of distribution both as it is now, in its infancy, and how it is likely to unfold over the next few years."

Unfold may be the key word. Right now, based on these results, it appears that the routine, long duration viewing of TV and movies on the Internet has yet to make a significant dent in traditional, living room TV viewing. Internet viewers are, according to these two surveys, simply experimenting with their broadband Internet connection and watching short Google videos and news pieces.

The study did not monitor downloaded movies, such as those from Apple, Netflix, or Amazon/TiVo. However, the trend so far, revealed by these reports, suggests that viewers still want to watch extended videos on the big screen in the living room. Thatis a preference that Apple, with its Apple TV, and others will be watching closely.