US viewers favored Netflix for online video content in June, says survey

Viewers of online video content in the US spent more time watching content on Netflix in June than they did any other channel including Hulu, UStream TV and YouTube, according to a new report. 

The report on online viewing habits in June was conducted by market analysts Nielsen and released on July 20.

Part of the report investigated the average time spent per viewer watching content, in June, on video channels that receive a minimum of 250,000 unique viewers.

Ten channels were included in this section of the report - Netflix, Hulu, UStream.tv, YouTube, Justin TV, Megavideo, Cwtv.com, ABC Family, Lifetime Digital and CBS Sports. Of these channels Nielsen found that viewers spent the most time on VOD subscription service Netflix, with an average of eight hours 34 minutes per viewer.

Subscription service Hulu came a distant second with an average of three hours 42 minutes per viewer, followed by UStream.tv (2:41), YouTube (2:37), Justin.tv (2:30), Megavideo (2:28), Cwtv.com (1:35), ABC Family (1:35), Lifetime Digital (1:16) and CBS Sports (1:14).

Of these sites, CBS Sports experienced the biggest increase of any of the channels, with 87.1 percent growth in terms of month-on-month increase of viewer hours. However no equivalent data was available for Netflix due, according to Nielsen, to "changes in the format of Netflix stream URLs. "

Through Netflix is currently only available in North America, the VOD (video on demand) service recently announced plans to expand to 43 countries in Latin American and the Caribbean by the end of 2011 and is rumored to be launching in Europe, starting in Spain, in 2012.  

A separate report by internet analysts comScore, released July 15, found that 85.6 percent of the US internet population watched online video content in June, with each viewer watching an average 16.8 hours of content.   

The consumption of online video content, particularly on YouTube, is also popular in the UK, where the site accounted for over 20 percent of visits to all social networks throughout April and May - more than Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr combined, according to analysts Experian Hitwise. 

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