Fact: Consumers are spending a lot more time with online video.
Fact: TV audiences are shrinking.
Conclusion: TV has yet another competitor. But don’t blame the writers’ strike.
Comscore says consumers watched 10 billion online videos in December, the highest total since it started keeping track of the stat a year ago. More signficantly: viewers watched an average of 3.4 hours of online during the month, up 34% from January 2007. And this is almost entirely from little snippets that averaged 2.8 minutes in length.
It would be tempting to hang this one on the writers strike, and Comscore, like many others in recent months, tries to draw a connection. We don’t believe it — because the strike really had no effect on TV schedules until the second half of January.
What we do know: TV viewing has been dropping for at least a year: Last season, viewers cut their daily total from 4 hours, 35 minutes to… 4 hours, 34 minutes. That trend may hold again this year. Season-to-date, broadcast TV ratings were down 5.4% as of mid-January. That was before any strike impact, but also before the widely watched Super Bowl, which should push them back up again.
The big picture: Keep this in perspective. Viewers spend more time in front of a TV in a single day than they do a whole month with online video. (Though we are very impressed with Yahoo Live!)
Here are the top online video properties, per Comscore:
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