Heaviest online video users seek out niche video sharing sites, says research

The difference in usage of online video between the heaviest viewers and the lightest is more than 800 minutes per month, according to new research from comScore and Media Contacts.

The companies, which released their findings during the Video Symposium in New York City, in mid February, revealed that the top users of Internet video, representing 20 percent of all online viewers, spend an average of 841 minutes per month while those watching the least online video, the bottom 50 percent of viewers, watched an average of six minutes.

Those considered to be moderate viewers, 30 percent of the total, averaged 77 minutes of online viewing per month. The companies based their findings on Internet video viewing in October 2007.

According to Jarvis Mak, VP of research and insight at Media Contacts, the distribution of first-run network TV programming content is likely to bridge the gaps between heavy, moderate and light online viewers.

The research showed YouTube is the top video site among all segments of viewers. What distinguishes the heaviest users from the pack is their viewership of niche video-sharing sites, each of which reaches less than 1 percent of the U.S. Web population.

Moderate viewers gravitate toward specific content on broadcast TV sites, including WorldNow (ABC), CBS TV Local, ABC Daytime, Scripps TV and CMT, rather than frequenting more general video-sharing sites.

Those falling into the lightest online viewership category are heavier users of television, the study showed. Forty-six percent of this group said they watch more than 13 hours of TV per week. TV viewership at that level among moderate and heavy online video viewers was 39 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

For more information, visit: www.comscore.com and www.mediacontacts.com.