Strike Effect? Online Video Jumps In February

That January dip in online video? It’s over. February was a big month for online video, lending credence to a theory we’ve been sceptical about: that a dearth of new shows on TV, due to the writers’ strike, sent some folks to the Web.

The number of videos served on the Web jumped 6% from January to February, according to Nielsen’s VideoCensus. Viewing in February, a short month, also topped December, considered a record month for online video.

Nielsen ratings for broadcast TV were down 20% in February from the previous year. In January, the networks still had some original shows, but by February the cupboard was nearly bare, except of course for Fox’s “American Idol.” This may have hurt some TV Web sites, which saw declines, as well as the network’s own sites, which declined in January.

Could it have contributed to additional Web viewing overall? Average time spent viewing video online also increased on February. Viewers watched an average of 130 minutes a month, up from 124.4 minutes in January.

Here’s the topline Nielsen VideoCensus data for total videos and average time spent over the past three months:

December – 6.2 billion/130 mins
January – 5.9 billion/124.4 mins
February – 6.3 billion/130 mins

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