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Online Video Upside Continues to Impress


Are we nearing the end of online video viewer growth? Apparently, the upside seems unstoppable -- even in the current world economy. As more data about 2008 Internet usage in the U.S. is released, online video increasingly looks like one of the year's big winners.

U.S. Internet users viewed 12.7 billion online videos during November 2008 alone, up more than one-third over November 2007, according to data released in January 2009 by comScore Video Metrix.

comScore said more than 146 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 87 videos per viewer in November 2008 -- that's 77 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience.

eMarketer also puts online video viewers at more than three-quarters of U.S. Internet users, and estimates that percentage will rise to 88 percent by 2012. For savvy online marketers, this continued growth raises the question of how much online video can be monetized.

"Although many consumers are loath to sit through ads when watching online video, they seem even less willing to pay directly for content," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.

"As a result, content owners and publishers are focusing on ad-funded models. Except for movies, some premium TV fare and select sports content—which remain attached to transactional models -- most TV-oriented programming has migrated to advertising-based formats," Mr. Hallerman continued.

eMarketer estimates online video advertising spending will grow rapidly to reach $4.6 billion in 2013, up from $587 million in 2008.

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