According to research by comScore, commissioned by Perform, the premium sports network and video advertising outfit, more than half (53%) of the total UK population aged 15 and over streamed a video in the last quarter of 2007, accounting for 12% of the total time spent online during the period, as opposed to a figure of 8% in the US.
Internet users in the UK also spend more time online (36 hours per month) than their US counterparts (29 hours), each viewing 97 streams per month, as opposed to 68 streams in the US.
While more minutes of streaming per month in the UK (2.6 billion) are recorded on YouTube than any other site, the survey finds that the average length of streamed content on YouTube is significantly less than other sites that also offer professionally produced content.
In the UK, the average length of stream on YouTube is 2.7 minutes. On Perform's network, which includes the V Player (Virgin Media's syndicated media player), that number is 3.8 minutes.
In terms of viewing habits, 40% of UK streaming happens between 5pm and 11pm, peaking between 7pm and 8pm.
With broadband penetration increasing all the time, video is very much part of the online day and is increasingly accounting for a significant proportion of consumers' online time.
While the reach of user-generated content is massive, the comScore research suggests that the content of online video is absolutely key to how long users are engaged and how successful that engagement is.
This obviously has a big impact on advertisers who are looking to engage their audience through recognised premium channels. Click-through rates on advertising campaigns that are run around premium content are much higher, sometimes as high as 9% against an industry average of around 1%.
By Oli Smith, sales director, Perform
This article was first published on Media Week