Comscore has issued it’s 2009 Year in Review, which is filled with interesting data about Internet trends. Two glaring elements stick out: The growth of consumption in online video as well as the use of smartphones.
“Online video viewing accelerated in 2009, with 19 percent more people in the U.S. viewing more videos for longer periods of time,” according to comScore Video Metrix, says the report. “In December 2009, 86 percent of the total U.S. online population viewed video content. Americans also viewed a significantly higher number of videos in 2009 versus the prior year, due to both increased content consumption and a growing number of video ads being delivered. ”
The growth is concentrated in two of the leading video portals, YouTube and Hulu.com. On Hulu alone, viewers watched more than 1 billion streams for a combined 5.8 billion minutes in December of 2009, that’s up 140% versus year ago. The average Hulu viewer watched more than 2 hours of online video during the month, says Comscore.
Comscore’s data indicates that more video viewing is occuring out of the mainstream, with more video being consumed from niche or “long-tail” sitews. For example, Comscore says the majority of online video content ranked outside of the top 25, “suggesting the increased fragmentation” of the video market .
Mobile is, of course, also a big play. Smartphones hold only about 17% of marketshare, but they are eating into that share rapidly. Comscore says the data indicates accelerating use of smartphones. “With so many new smartphone models reaching the market in 2009, the next year promises a rapid increase in market penetration of these devices, which likely means a corresponding uptick in mobile web usage.”
That’s key to understanding growth in the mobile market over the next few years: The mobile Web is going to open up an whole new world of opportunities, especially in the consumption of applications and online data services.