Google remains the dominant player in the online-video space, according to research firm ComScore's latest market rankings.
In July, more than 143 million unique viewers watched at least one video hosted by Google--the vast majority of which, according to ComScore, were on YouTube. That figure represented a slight decline, compared with the 144 million people who watched videos in June on the company's sites. Google viewers watched more than 1.88 billion videos in July, averaging 282.7 minutes of viewing over the month.
In June, Google users played more than 1.81 billion videos and averaged 260.9 minutes of viewing time.
Google was followed by Yahoo, in terms of consumer online-video consumption. The company's Yahoo Video, as well as clips on its many other sites, including Yahoo News and Yahoo TV, helped it attract 55 million unique visitors, who watched more than 238 million videos in July. Its users averaged 28.6 minutes of viewing time. Last month, Yahoo attracted 44.9 million viewers, who watched approximately 139 million videos.
The biggest surprise in July was Facebook's growth as an online-video powerhouse. The social network, which was the fifth most popular video destination in June, attracted more than 46 million unique viewers in July. It added more than 3 million people to its rolls month over month, which helped it become the third most popular video destination on the Web in July. The company's viewers watched more than 166 million videos in July, compared to 144 million in June. All told, Facebook viewers watched an average of 18.3 minutes of video during the month.
Microsoft also enjoyed strong growth in July, tallying 45 million unique viewers, compared with about 39 million in June. It served 219 million videos during the month, and viewers averaged more than 40 minutes of viewing time.
Although Hulu placed 10th in overall viewers with 28 million, the company was second behind Google in viewer engagement. According to ComScore, the average Hulu user watched 158 minutes of programming in July.
But where Hulu really shined was in video ads. During July, 3.6 billion video ads were displayed in the United States. Out of that, Hulu showed 783 million ads, easily besting the competition. In fact, Google displayed just 219 million ads on all of its videos, while Microsoft displayed 232 million ads during the month.
Overall, it was a good month for the online-video market. ComScore found that 84.9 percent of the entire U.S. Web audience watched at least one online video in July. The average online video was 4.8 minutes long, while the average ad was 24 seconds in duration.