The Long Tail Of Video Sites Capture Half Of All Viewing Minutes

YouTube might be streaming more than 13 billion videos a month, or nearly 40 percent of total individual streams, but when you measure by time spent YouTube only accounted for 26 percent of all viewing minutes on the Web last year.  It is not surprising that it commands a smaller share of time spent watching videos than number of streams watched, since most YouTube videos are so short.  But what is surprising is how fragmented the Web video landscape remains once you go out past the top 25 sites.

According to comScore’s 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review, more than half of all time spent watching videos on the Web (52 percent) last year was on Long Tail video sites beyond the top 25.  What you see is a real barbell distribution, with Youtube on one end and the Long Tail sites on the other.  Total video views more than doubled between December, 2008 and December, 2009, from 14 billion to 33 billion streams. So there is hope yet for niche video producers.

The Nos. 2 through 25 sites account for the remaining 22 percent of video minutes.  This group includes No. 2 video site Hulu, which just hit 1 billion monthly video streams in December, and fast-rising Netflix (no. 19).  Hulu’s 1 billion streams accounted for 5.8 billion minutes of viewing time, up 140 percent from a year before.

For  more from comScore’s report, see my earlier post on Ten Biggest Advertising Publishers On The Web or download the entire report here.