Americans appear to be getting more comfortable watching videos online--and Google is the clear winner.
Internet users in the U.S. watched 12.7 billion online videos in November, an increase of 34 percent versus a year ago, according to numbers released Monday by market researcher ComScore.
Thanks to YouTube, Google Sites retained the crown as the top U.S. video property with nearly 5.1 billion videos viewed--or about 40 percent of all videos viewed online--with the video-sharing site accounting for more than 98 percent of Google's traffic. Fox Interactive Media was a distant second with 439 million videos watched (or 3.5 percent), followed by Viacom Digital with 325 million videos watched (2.6 percent).
The data also showed that 77 percent of all U.S. Internet users had viewed online videos in 2008, and that the average online video viewer watched 273 minutes of video.
That's all good news for sites like YouTube and Hulu that are trying to build an online ad market around video. One analyst firm expects the market for video ads to grow 45 percent to $850 million this year.
An eMarketer study released in December forecast more growth in years to come: $1.25 billion in 2010; $1.85 billion in 2011; $3 billion in 2012; and $4.6 billion in 2013.