Americans viewed 5.6 billion video ads in January 2012, down 22% from 7.1 billion in December 2011, according to comScore VideoMetrix data. Hulu generated the highest number of video ad impressions at nearly 1.45 billion, though that was down marginally from about 1.49 billion the previous month. Adap.tv ranked second overall (and highest among video ad exchanges/networks) with 652 million ad views, representing a 42% fall from 1.1 billion in December, while Tremor Video dropped to fourth, down 38% to 580 million. BrightRoll Video Network took the third spot with 598 million impressions, down 31.4% from 872 million in December, while Specific Media rounded out the top 5 with 398 million, representing a 20% decrease from 496 million in December.
Time spent watching video ads totaled more than 2.3 billion minutes during the month, after totaling more than 3 billion in December. Hulu delivered the highest duration of video ads at 540 million minutes.
Video ads reached 47% of the total US population an average of 38 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 46, while ESPN delivered an average of 20 ads per viewer.
Despite video ad views falling in January, the overall trend in 2011 was positive: according to February 2012 data from FreeWheel, digital video ad views grew at a faster pace than video views from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011 (49% vs. 47%), as they did in Q3, although the ratio by which ad views outgrew video views drastically narrowed between Q3 and Q4.
Facebook, Viacom Pick Up Video Viewers
Meanwhile, comScore reports that Facebook and Viacom saw the best month-over-month unique viewer performance gains among the top 5 US online video properties in January. Facebook, which had dropped 17% of its viewers to 42 million in December, gained 7% to reach 45.1 million, while Viacom reported about 48.1 million viewers, up 5.1% from 45.7 million in December, challenging Yahoo, which lost 7.7% of its viewers (to 49.2 million), for the #2 spot.
NBC Universal, which had dropped out of the top 10 in December, took the #10 position with 27.1 million viewers, replacing Turner Digital.
Google remained the top online video property once again, with roughly 152 million viewers, down 3.3% from 157.2 million the prior month. VEVO also maintained its second ranking, with 51.5 million viewers, down 4% from December. Google again demonstrated the highest viewer engagement, with an average of 7.5 hours per viewer, down from 7.9 in December.
Top YouTube Partners Retain Rankings
The January 2012 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channels VEVO (50.6 million viewers) and Warner Music (29.7 million viewers) maintained the top two positions, although both dropped around 6% of their viewers. Gaming channel Machinima ranked third with 23.8 million viewers, up from 22.7 million the previous month. Among the top 10 YouTube partners, VEVO demonstrated the highest engagement (62 minutes per viewer) and highest number of videos viewed (696 million), while Machinima exhibited the second highest engagement (60 minutes per viewer) and number of videos viewed (347 million).
- 84.4% of the US internet audience viewed online video in January, down slightly from 85.3% in December.
- The duration of the average online content video was 6.1 minutes, up from 5.8 minutes in December, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes, unchanged from the previous month.
- Video ads accounted for 12.2% of all videos viewed and 0.9% of all minutes spent viewing video online.
- 181 million US internet users watched online video content in January for an average of 22.6 hours per viewer.
- The total US internet audience engaged in nearly 40 billion video views, after peaking in December with 43.5 billion views.