YouTube Streams 14.6B Videos, 100 Videos Viewed per User

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-06-26

Now that YouTube has successfully dispatched Viacom's copyright infringement lawsuit, the video-sharing Website is free to ramp its video advertising efforts.

YouTube users watched 14.6 billion videos for the month of May, an all-time high for the Website, accounting for 43.1 percent of all videos viewed online, comScore said.

Overall, 183 million U.S. Internet users watched some 34 billion videos for the month, an average of 186 videos per viewer. That's a jump from April, when U.S. users watched 180 million videos.

When people weren't watching videos on YouTube, they were watching them on Hulu (1.2 billion videos), Microsoft Sites (642 million videos), Vevo (430 million videos) and YouTube court buddy Viacom Digital (347 million videos).

See the charts, along with top video advertisers, here

YouTube's growth shows that its popularity hasn't waned despite a tense, three-year legal battle with Viacom, which sued the video-sharing site for copyright infringement.

Viacom argued Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 because it was a "haven of infringement" and profited from it via digital advertising.

Google claimed content placed on YouTube by millions of users is protected by the DMCA so long as it takes it down when companies request it.

Judge Louis L. Stanton, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, sided with the search engine, granting its motion for summary judgment.

Stanton said that while YouTube and Google were aware that users uploaded copyrighted material to the Website, it was not aware which clips were added with permission and which were not.

Unwilling to concede victory, Viacom said it will try to have these issues heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.

Gleacher and Co analyst Ben Schachter noted that financial analysts should view the victory as a "meaningful positive" at a time when the company is being hounded by regulators over its Street View WiFi spying incident and allegations of anti-competitiveness.

"The manner in which copyrighted content will be distributed, monetized and protected online will continue to evolve, and will remain critically important for Google, which, as a platform owner, is not primarily in the content creation business," Schachter wrote.

This also paves the way for YouTube to ramp its video ad plans, which have evolved over the last three years from simple in-video advertising to paid video contracts.

YouTube had to be careful how it monetized video during the case as it wouldn't do to make money on top of copyrighted content while a judgment was in consideration.

The Financial Times noted YouTube limited ads to videos covered by agreements with content owners, adding:

"Judge Stanton explicitly concludes, however, that YouTube need not worry about placing advertisements on copyright-infringing content by mistake, just as long as it doesn't have specific knowledge of the infringements."

In other words, time for Google to rev YouTube's ad engines.

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