Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

top us ad video content properties dec 2013


Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

top us video ad properties dec 2013



Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013



comScore Releases August 2013 U.S. Online Video Rankings

AOL Climbs into Second Place in Online Video Content Ranking with 71 Million Viewers

comScore released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that 188.5 million Americans watched 46.7 billion online content videos in August, while the number of video ad views totaled 22.8 billion.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at, ranked as the top online video content property in August with 167 million unique viewers. AOL captured the #2 spot with 71.2 million, followed by Facebook with 62.2 million, NDN with 50.7 million and VEVO with 49.4 million. 46.7 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 17.4 billion, followed by AOL, Inc. with 992 million and Facebook with 803 million. Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience 188,499 46,746,596 1,294.3
Google Sites 166,966 17,437,897 521.6
AOL, Inc. 71,202 991,800 56.8
Facebook 62,183 803,148 21.6
NDN 50,650 569,815 92.0
VEVO 49,371 609,833 42.3
Microsoft Sites 48,894 689,704 33.0
Yahoo! Sites 45,049 368,975 79.2
Viacom Digital 44,434 452,938 45.2
Amazon Sites 34,499 133,380 22.5
Collective Video 31,857 149,318 29.1

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

Americans viewed nearly 22.8 billion video ads in August, with Google Sites ranking #1 with 3.2 billion ad impressions. came in second with more than 2.4 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Platform with 2.4 billion and with 2.2 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 8.5 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Platform and delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.1 billion minutes each. Video ads reached 56 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 132 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 71.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience 22,755,256 8,518 132.3 55.6
Google Sites 3,171,612 301 28.5 35.9
ADAP.TV† 2,448,969 1,126 18.0 44.0
BrightRoll Platform**† 2,392,855 1,103 14.4 53.7
LIVERAIL.COM† 2,203,060 859 28.4 25.1
Specific Media** 1,665,541 645 13.0 41.2
SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace† 1,249,149 467 14.4 28.1
Hulu 1,247,868 475 71.4 5.6
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform† 1,148,595 380 15.0 24.7
Tremor Video** 846,112 390 13.2 20.7
Videology† 751,183 291 9.8 24.8

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange/DSP/SSP

Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers

The August 2013 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 47.8 million viewers. Fullscreen held on to the #2 position with 34.5 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 29.6 million, Warner Music with 26.9 million and ZEFR (formerly MovieClips) with 24.9 million. Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (91 minutes per viewer), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (65 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (580 million), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (521 million).

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
August 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 47,764 580,437 40.8
Fullscreen @ YouTube 34,541 361,302 32.7
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 29,573 521,066 65.1
Warner Music @ YouTube 26,921 159,047 19.2
ZEFR @ YouTube 24,893 126,822 13.8
The Orchard @ YouTube 21,197 87,548 12.1
Blizzard @ YouTube 18,261 43,062 4.1
rumblefish @ YouTube 17,784 44,429 7.0
Machinima @ YouTube 17,050 391,755 90.9
UMG @ YouTube 16,311 55,998 10.5

Other notable findings from August 2013 include:

  • 87 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.2 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 32.7 percent of all videos viewed and 3.4 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

AOL Will Take Time Connecting To Its Network

Its $405 million acquisition of video ad marketplace closes two big loops for AOL.

The first is around video, which has become a bigger part of both its and rival Yahoo’s strategies. Both portals have doubled down on original video content creation, but AOL has looked to video as an ad-tech solution, whereas Yahoo has largely pitched it as a “premium inventory” opportunity.

In September 2010, AOL acquired video content syndication network 5min and quickly placed the Israeli startup’s founder, Ran Harnevo, at the head of its video operations. At the time, CEO Tim Armstrong said 5min represented the “missing piece in AOL’s value chain that completes our end-to-end video offering from content creation to syndication to distribution to consumer experience and monetization.”

As Harnevo explained the deal today, within the context of adding, 5min was about enhancing AOL’s owned and operated properties. “Bringing in is about building platforms that are more scalable than a propertycentric strategy,” Harnevo said. “It’s not just about creating great video content and distributing it. It’s about connecting to the ‘open Web’ through programmatic channels.”

By purchasing, AOL is positioning itself to capture some of the $75 billion that goes to linear TV ads. (Digital video ads command $4 billion today, according to eMarketer.) When pressed for how much progress is being made in that area currently, Armstrong and CEO Amir Ashkenazi both said there are signs of such a movement, but that’s about it.

The second loop is programmatic buying. There is no question that the automation of media buys is going mainstream. Armstrong and Ashkenazi want to drive that adoption into lucrative branding campaigns – the kind associated with traditional TV ads.

“Video is the ultimate format for branding, just as search is the ultimate format for direct response,” Ashkenazi said. “Brand advertisers finally found a method that really works. So we are starting to see a shift from all formats to video advertising.”

For the time being, will remain as a standalone brand and be housed within AOL Networks, the rebranded group that includes AOL’s tech stack, including the demand-side platform AdLearn, the supply-side platform Marketplace, the retargeting tool Buysight and the ad server AdTech.

Bob Lord, the former Razorfish CEO who is now the head of AOL Networks and in charge of the company’s exclusive programmatic partnership with Publicis Groupe, said it will take some time to definitively identify where’s engineering and sales organizations will fit.

San Mateo, Calif.-based has doubled its staff to 200 this year and had planned to add 100 more staffers before 2014. Lord, who is on day seven as CEO of AOL Networks, said that the outlines of where can complement the “Live Advertising” initiative of the Publicis AOL Live venture will come together quickly.

“The opportunities for cross-selling between our existing properties and are fairly obvious,” Lord said. “But integration takes time and we still need to work out the details.”

Reiterating earlier comments during the Q2 earnings call, Armstrong noted that is already one of the ad-tech partners with whom AOL works.

“We have an idea of how to leverage and fuel, a little bit like we do with The Huffington Post and our other assets,” he said. “Sight, sound and motion in the form of video is going to bring significant scale to digital advertising as a branding medium. It’s part of the reason for this transaction, part of the reason our video business is taking off. ‘Live’ is a category that’s underserved on the consumer and advertising side. And because of’s ability as an enterprise software solution for video buying, we’ll be able to make advancements in redefining live advertising for the Web.”

The deal comes amid rapid changes in the video space. Video ad network YuMe priced its IPO this week and Tremor Video is preparing for its first earnings release.

Ashkenazi dodged questions about whether would have pursued its IPO plans had the AOL deal not come about.

“It’s true, we were on the path for going public, but we got more excited by the opportunity to work with AOL,” Ashkenazi said. “In opting to go with AOL, I believe we traded a good plan with a better one.”