UK Internet users spent 323 million hours watching online videos in February, and made over a billion visits a month to video sites, according to Experian. The Experian Hitwise online competitive intelligence tool, revealed that visits to online video sites now account for five percent of all online usage compared to four percent in 2011, representing an increase of 16 per cent year on year.
However, Experian say the jump in viewing is significantly higher again if you compare the data for the same month. In February 2013, the UK Internet population spent 323 million hours watching online video content, accounting for 100 million more hours viewing compared to the same period in 2012, an increase of 45 percent.
Experian say the growth has been primarily driven by YouTube, amounts to 70 per cent of all visits to online video sites (total time spent would in all likelihood lead to a different figure that leans more towards broadcasters/long-form content), now the third most popular website in the UK after Google UK and Facebook. Every month, UK Internet users spend 203 million hours watching YouTube content, with an average session time of 20 minutes. Visits via mobile are also on the increase with 1 in 5 visits to YouTube coming from a mobile device via wi-fi compared to 1 in 20 in 2011.
Ecommerce is benefitting the most from the growth of online video with 16 per cent of all visits now ending up on a transactional site, up from 12.5 per cent in February 2012. This represents a 30 per cent relative increase in visits to transactional websites from video sites.
James Murray, Digital Insight Manager, Experian Marketing Services, said: “Although the primary source of video is still entertainment, more brands are taking advantage of this medium and using it to drive traffic to their web pages. Our data shows that nine per cent of video downstream traffic is going directly to retail sites. As online video continues to evolve as a marketing channel, it is starting to have a greater impact on online traffic in the retail, travel and finance industries. Brands would benefit from incorporating video as a core part of their digital strategy, driving awareness traffic to their sites and helping to generate further sales.”