Report: Web users ratchet up video streaming

YouTube dominates video sites

Though the audience for Web video is no longer growing at a meteoric rate, Internet users are spending nearly 50% more time each month streaming video content online, according to a new report issued by Nielsen Online.

The new report found that in May nearly 134 million users watched some form of video on the Web, an increase of close to 13% versus the same month in 2009. However, that audience -- representing a majority of the total U.S. Internet universe -- is consuming far more video than a year ago. In May users averaged 188.7 minutes streaming video online, a surge of 48.9% versus last year.

Interestingly, per Nielsen's report, the total number of streams recorded in May rose by 35% to over 10 million -- a significant jump, but smaller in comparison to time spent. That could mean that users are watching longer clips on average.

Also, the average number of streams per viewer climbed by 19.6% to 75 each month -- perhaps also indicating that most viewers are consuming longer chunks of video content, or that the most active video viewers are accounting for a larger proportion of Web video streaming time.

As usual, YouTube dominated Nielsen's monthly VideoCensus report listing the top video sites, with 95.4 million unique users and over six billion streams. The fast-growing Hulu came in at a distant second with 10.1 million uniques and over 382 million streams (recent comScore numbers, which attempt to capture Hulu content that is distributed across the Web, report that the site's unique user base exceeds 40 million monthly uniques). Yahoo, Fox Interactive Media and rounded out Nielsen's top five for May.