Online video is entering the mainstream, and nowhere is that more evident than in the growth of live video services over the past year. While on-demand video services, like YouTube (s GOOG) and Hulu, get all the press, live-streaming services have posted dramatic increases in the amount of time viewers spent watching live video online over the last year.
comScore analyst Andres Palmiter reports that the amount of time online audiences spent watching YouTube (s GOOG) and Hulu videos increased 68 percent and 75 percent in the last year, respectively, which is impressive. But it’s nothing compared to the 648 percent growth of viewership on live streaming platforms such as Justin.tv, Ustream, Livestream, LiveVideo and Stickam.
According to a new entry on the comScore blog, the amount of time Americans spent watching video on those major live platforms has grown to 1.4 billion minutes. That’s still a relatively small amount, compared to the amount of time that viewers spend watching on-demand video content. But it’s indicative of a shift in how viewers approach live video online.
Not only have the live streaming sites shown impressive growth in the number of minutes that consumers have spent with them in total, they’re also leading on-demand video sites in viewer engagement and in drawing attractive audience demographics. According to comScore, the average live video streamed online is viewed for 7 percent longer than on-demand video.
Much of this live viewing time could possibly be attributed to July’s biggest sporting event: the World Cup. While the live streaming platforms didn’t have official deals with rights holders to stream the soccer matches, some live video sites have become (in)famous for hosting unauthorized streams of live sporting events.
The post also has some interesting stats on the top live streaming video platforms. comScore reports that in July Ustream had more than 3.2 million unique visitors, compared to 2.6 million on Justin.tv and 2.4 million on Livestream. But Livestream delivered more videos than the other two, with 160 million streams in July, compared to 130 million from Justin.tv and 20 million from Ustream. Ustream videos, perhaps due to the site’s focus on media and entertainment events, were viewed on average for eight minutes longer than Justin.tv videos and a full 17 minutes longer on average than Livestream videos.
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