YouTube viewers in U.S. exceed 100 million for first time

Chicago (IL) – With the inauguration, major awards shows, X-Games and other major events occurring recently it is no shock that users took to YouTube to catch up on things missed and to check out the videos they want to see again. It’s even less surprising that YouTube has much to be excited about, as the company surpassed the 100 million viewer mark in the United States alone, making them the #3 most visited website on the the Internet (and also #3 in U.S.), and #3 in most traffic, accounting for around 17% of all Internet traffic world-wide. This gives an idea as to the demand and growth of the online video industry.

When Google acquired the video site in 2006, they obviously made a great decision as the site now ranks as the most popular provider of online video in the United States. In January alone about 6.4 billion videos were viewed, this is the equivalent of 43 percent of the video market in the United States.

The figures released from comScore reveal that web surfers in the United States alone sat down to watch over 15 billion videos each month over many different video sites, however YouTube is the site drawing the most attention and the majority of users. Alexa posts this chart showing YouTube’s bandwidth usage, page views and ranking over time. At one point, YouTube accounted for over 20% of all Internet traffic (May/June, 2008).

In January, comScore stated that the number of individuals viewing online video was on the rise, with numbers climbing four percent since December. Ninety-one percent of this growth was accounted for by YouTube. Just under one billion individuals in the United States viewed 6.3 billion videos via the site, that averages out to about 63 videos per viewer. The average viewer will spent almost 6 hours watching videos online in January, which is fifteen percent higher than in December.

Even though YouTube is Google owned, Fox Interactive Media isn’t doing a horrible job themselves with 552 million videos, or 3.7 percent of the market share.

YouTube falls behind Google and Yahoo as the only two websites with more daily hits. Facebook and MySpace fall immediately behind it.