The Average American Watches 30 Minutes of Online Video vs 5 Hours of TV Per Day

By Megan O'Neill Comment

How much online video do you watch on a daily basis? According to new data released by comScore and interpreted by NewTeeVee , the average American watched an average of 30 minutes of online video per day in October. That’s an increase of 40 percent from October 2009. But oddly enough, the total U.S. Internet audience viewing online video is down.

ComScore statistics from October 2009 showed viewers watching an average of 10.8 hours of video over the course of the month. That’s about 20.9 minutes a day, on average. As you can see from the chart here, viewers watched an average of 908 minutes over the course of the month of October 2010. That comes out to about 29.2 minutes per day, an increase of just under 9 minutes of video per day from a year ago.

While 30 minutes of online video a day may pale in comparison to the 5 hours of television that the average American watches on a daily basis, according to Nielsen data, it still shows the rapid rate at which online video is growing. Not only are short home videos and viral videos growing in popularity on sites like YouTube, but also more people are watching music videos on VEVO throughout their workday, checking out their favorite television series on Hulu and more. I think we will definitely see continued rapid growth in the amount of online video that Americans are watching on a daily basis, as well as growth in the amount of time people are spending on YouTube and other sites in countries around the globe.

Something that did strike me as a little odd, however, is that in October of 2009 comScore reported that, “84.4 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.” In October 2010, “84.1 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.” It is clear that people who have been watching online video for all of the past year are now watching more of it, but the number of people watching has actually decreased by 0.3 percent. Could it be that online video isn’t catching on as quickly as we think it is?

Do you think you watch more online video than last year? What do you think could account for the fact that online video viewers are now watching more online video, while the percentage of U.S. online video viewers remains stagnant?