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Even as online video viewing has expanded across an ever-wider range of sites, audiences at YouTube (s GOOG) continue to grow. The latest evidence of this comes from comScore’s Video Metrix report for September, (s SCOR) which shows that nearly half of all videos viewed online in September were delivered by the Google-owned online video site.
YouTube has long been the leading video distributor online, but despite more content companies putting their videos online than ever, the site continues to outpace the competition. According to comScore, there were 39.8 billion videos watched online last month, of which 18.6 billion were delivered by YouTube. That accounts for an impressive 47 percent of online video viewership.
Viewers are also spending massive amounts of time on the site: Viewers on average spent 378 minutes, or 6.3 hours, watching YouTube videos during the month. No other distributor comes close to that number, except maybe Hulu, where viewers spent an average of 180 minutes, or three hours, during September.
Music videos continue to be popular on YouTube: Viewership there was led by online music video provider Vevo, which served up 724 million videos to 57 million unique viewers. Vevo viewers also spent nearly an hour each watching music videos through the service on YouTube. Warner Music served up an additional 184 million videos to 29 million unique viewers, who watched an average of 28.5 minutes each.
But there are some serious independent content creators also scoring big through YouTube. Take Machinima, for example: It’s the number three site in terms of uniques, and served up 249 million videos in September to 17 million unique viewers. Its audience is also incredibly engaged, with the average viewer spending an hour a month watching videos from its channel. Maker Studios, the #4 channel within YouTube in September, delivered 72 million streams to 9 million uniques, with viewers watching for an average of 32 minutes each.
What’s astonishing about YouTube’s reach is that these numbers are primarily from browser-based viewing. Compared to some other distributors, YouTube has somewhat limited reach on connected TVs and other devices. But we expect that to change soon, particularly as YouTube undertakes a massive initiative around building channels of highly produced web original content.
In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if YouTube is the big star of next year’s CES, as it seeks to follow the lead of companies like Netflix and Hulu Plus in getting its content in front of consumers everywhere and on every device. And when that happens, there’s no guessing how much more share it can steal from the competition.