Responding to the surge in online video consumption, comScore Networks has launched a service called Video Metrix. The service reports on online video consumption, covering both content and advertising, and includes audience demographic data. Data on video usage is gathered by observing the online behaviour of several hundred thousand panellists.

Not surprisingly, comScore confirmed a marked increase in online video viewing by US Internet users. According to the results, the average number of minutes spent watching video online increased by 18% in the six months from October 2005 to March 2006.

The US Internet users who were monitored for the study indicated that, in the month of March, they each viewed an average of 100 minutes of video content per month, compared to an average of 85 minutes in October. It also emerged that they each spent close to an hour per month viewing Internet video from work locations during March.

"Video consumption on the web is rapidly approaching the tipping point for advertisers," said Peter Daboll, CEO of comScore Media Metrix. "With two-thirds of consumers accessing the Internet from home using a broadband connection, and publishers continuing to innovate by using the latest technologies to deliver content in a way that engages users, video consumption is poised to become a standard part of the online experience for a majority of consumers. Advertisers will increasingly seek opportunities to reach broad and frequently elusive markets, and do so with a level of engagement and richness that has not previously been available online."

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