Procrastinate much? Americans watched more than 10 billion online videos in February

From kittens to '80s music videos to episodes of The Office, U.S. Internet users keep watching more online video. Not surprisingly, YouTube dominates.

All that time you waste at the office watching stupid cat videos on YouTube adds up: numbers released by ComScore on Wednesday indicate that U.S. Web users watched more than 10 billion online videos during the month of February. That's a 66 percent gain from the previous year.

Leading the pack, with a 35.4 percent share of videos viewed throughout the month, were Google-owned video sites--in other words, YouTube. The total video count for Google, according to ComScore, is about 3.6 billion, 3.42 billion of which were YouTube-specific. In a distant second place is News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media (MySpaceTV and its ilk) with 5.8 percent of the market.

Following Fox Interactive are a melange of big tech portals and media companies: Yahoo, Microsoft, Viacom, Time Warner (excluding AOL), Disney, AOL, ABC, and Comcast. Nowhere to be seen is Hulu, the joint video venture between News Corp. and NBC Universal--in February, it was still in private beta . It also doesn't include digital download marketplaces like iTunes.

But this could be the golden age of online video, in a sense: my colleague Greg Sandoval noted in his coverage of the National Association of Broadcasters conference that as digital video recorders and set-top boxes grow increasingly sophisticated , consumers may have more options for watching TV shows on demand and for watching content on TVs that's currently online-only.

On the other hand, ComScore's numbers don't seem to indicate that long-form TV shows make up a huge chunk of online video. The average video length, according to the statistics, was 2.7 minutes. And the average viewer watched 75 videos in the month of February, which seems to point to a lot of short clips.

What I want to know: How many of those YouTube videos had to do with Rick Astley ?

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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