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240 million hours a month spent watching online video in the UK

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 24, 2011 | 2 min read

UK internet users spend 240 million hours every month watching online video content, according to analysis from Experian Hitwise.

The “Online Video: Bringing Social Media to Life” research found that there were 785million visits to video sites in the UK during September alone, up 36% from last year.

YouTube dominates with 70 per cent of all visits to online video sites, with UK internet users spending 184 million hours watching YouTube content. Ranking second and third are the video-on-demand (VOD) services from BBC iPlayer and ITV Player.

Music, TV, films and gaming are the top four search topics that drove consumers to video websites, with music accounting for 33% of search clicks.

James Murray, marketing research analyst at Experian Hitwise, said: “There are now more visits to video websites every month than to email providers, travel or sports sites, which represents a huge opportunity to the savvy marketer. The average Internet user will make 18 visits to video sites a month and almost half will visit at least three different sites. While YouTube dominates the market, the increase in traffic to video-on-demand and more niche sites demonstrates that content is what matters most to today’s Internet users and they’ll go to whatever site has the content they’re most interested in viewing.”

He added: “As people consume more video content online, brands should increasingly be looking to use video as a core part of their digital strategy. Online video is a very diverse media that can be used to build brand awareness, to bring traffic to a website, as an educational tool to demonstrate a product or service, as a customer service channel, or as a way to attract a completely new online audience.

“Domino’s and British Airways are excellent examples of how brands can use YouTube as a customer service channel. Others, such as Yeo Valley, have created successful multi-channel advertising campaigns by repurposing TV adverts online, where the online advert had a potent effect in generating media awareness and enabled the company to reach a completely new audience.”

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