Online Video Ads Now Reach 50 Percent Of The U.S. Population

ComScore’s August web video rankings are in, and this is for sure: Americans watch an enormous amount of online video content, with most of that taking place on — you guessed it — YouTube. Of course, last month, Facebook, already the largest photo site on the Web, became the third largest video site on the Internet in terms of unique viewers. Which I find interesting since I can count the total number of times I’ve watched video on Facebook on two hands.

Yet, comScore’s rankings find Facebook retaining third position in August, with 51.6 million unique viewers, trailing VEVO in second (with 62 million) and Google Sites (i.e. YouTube) at 162 million. Viacom Digital lept into fourth place, while Microsoft dropped into fifth, as Yahoo and Aol remained in sixth and seventh, with their unique views on the rise.

In terms of the big picture stats, total viewing sessions tallied yet another all-time high in August with 6.9 billion sessions (with YouTube qua Google Sites) generating just over half of those. The average web video viewer watched 18 hours of content over the course of August, with YouTube and Hulu unsurprisingly attracting the highest engagement at 5.7 hours and 3.2 hours, respectively. What’s more, 85.8 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.

However, the interesting part of this report, at least for me, comes in the form of a snapshot of the current proliferation of video advertising in the U.S. Americans had more than 5.6 billion video ads put in front of their peepers in August. That’s nearly one ad per person for 80 percent of the entire population of the planet. What’s more video advertising reached 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 37.6 times during August, with the total time spend watching video ads totaling more than 2.5 billion minutes last month, according to comScore. If my calculations are correct, that is the equivalent of serving nearly 2,000 years worth of videos.

Also of note for online video ads: According to comScore, video ads accounted for 13.4 percent of all videos viewed and 1.3 percent of all minutes spent viewing videos online. While this is likely to make the heart weep for those who hate viewing ads in video content, for advertisers digital video has become a truly remarkable (and nearly guaranteed) method by which to reach a wide audience. Especially considering sites like Hulu won’t let you skip over videos.

And speaking of Hulu’s love affair with video ads, the video site generated the highest number of video ad impressions, serving 996 million in August, with Tremor Video in second at 764 million, and in third at 720 million.

ComScore has also struck a deal with YouTube for a full comparison of viewership across thousands of YouTube partners and their channels. You can check out those numbers and more here.

Excerpt image courtesy of Blankenship Design.