March 23, 2007, 12:00 AM

Internet users get video fix

In January nearly 123 million people in the United States viewed 7.2 billion streaming videos online, new research shows. “Marketers have a great opportunity to leverage Internet video,” says a comScore Networks executive.

In January nearly 123 million people in the United States-70% of the total U.S. Internet audience-viewed 7.2 billion streaming videos online, new research from comScore Networks Inc., a research firm specializing in consumer behavior, shows. The average Internet user viewed 59 video streams during the month, totaling 151 minutes of streaming video-nearly two videos per day, with the average viewing time per video registering 2.6 minutes, comScore says. Streaming video is multimedia watched while simultaneously being transmitted.

Google Sites was the top streaming video venue in January, as measured by total unique viewers (54.7 million) and total video streams initiated (1.17 billion). Most video streaming for Google Sites occurred at its Internet video colossus, YouTube.com, which accounted for 992 million video streams initiated. The research firm measured online video content in all major formats, including Flash, RealPlayer, Windows Media, QuickTime and DivX.

Internet users were more likely to view video on weekdays than on the weekend, comScore says. Peak viewing occurred between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays, when video consumption was 60% higher than average; the highest video consumption on weekends occurred between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., when viewers watched 31% more video than average, the research notes.

“Marketers have a great opportunity to leverage Internet video in conjunction with their traditional TV buy and essentially double their prime time commercial airing hours,” says Erin Hunter, executive vice president at comScore. “Prime time TV viewing occurs between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Eastern), while prime time viewing of online video occurs during the preceding block of time, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays. Shrewd marketers will utilize a multi-channel strategy to capitalize on these adjacent prime time blocks in order to maximize their marketing impact.”

Internet video is one of the topics at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose, featuring Tom Dickson, CEO of Blendtec, and Georgianne Brown, president of mainstream commerce for BabyUniverse.

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