Web Video Statistics: I Smell a Rat by Craig Stoltz

Craig Stoltz is a web consultant working in the health 2.0 space. He has previously served as health editor for the Washington Post and editorial director of Revolution Health. He blogs at Web 2.0 … Oh really? 

The web metrics firm comScore has published a tally of of how many online videos were viewed during the month of December. That number is 10 billion. That’s “b,” as in “freakin’ billion.”

Like Mike Huckabee, I didn’t major in math. But as a journalist I do have an Associate’s Degree in Rat Sniffing. And I smell a big one.

By my primitive calculations, if comScore’s stats are correct, during the month of December 2007 2,237 person-years were spent watching online video. (That’s assuming each of those 10 billion videos was watched for :30.)

For comparison, 2,237 person years would be the equivalent of:

  • one human watching online video  continuously, without bathroom break or time spent dying and being reborn, since the reign of Julius Caesar.
  • 2,237 people spending one year, day and night without rest or time to stretch, planting the Great Plains with switchgrass.

And that’s just one month in 2007! In 2008, I’m sure enough person-years of video will be watched worldwide to rebuild the Great Pyramid of Giza by hand (20,000 men 20 years, according to recent estimates).

This is either a preposterous bit of stat-pumping or a terribly, terribly sad commentary. Or, probably, both.

5 replies »

  1. CoryTowson, Who said I was a repbuilcan first of all? Our pbuilc is made up of uncommon parties and it is all parties that make our pbuilc what it is now! You accuse additional pbuilc and additional parties lacking investigation for your hardships. Yet Im the racist?My aunt is a Nurse in Canada thank you very much!Doctors from canada come to the states to pay out of their own sack to get there surgeries done quicker. Then they go back to get reimbursement from their health system. hmmm .?

  2. There is absolutely no doubt that watching video is becoming increasingly more popular, especially with the advent of big screen televisions specially adapted to show Utube videos, such as Panasonic. Watching Utube videos on the big TV screen will probably be the norm within the next few years.

  3. I do not consider myself a big internet viewer, rarely go onto YouTube (but it is on my iPhone!). I remember when I learned about this 10 BILLION number and then I started thinking about my own watching:
    I get MediaPost’s out to launch email that has four or five commercials going to launch. I usually watch at least two or three a week.
    A friend posted some YouTube videos of my wife and son that I emailed at least 15 people about to watch and I have watched it a few times.
    I had to catch up on TV shows that I missed (TiVo was in the shop for a month) either on NBC.com, Fox.com or iTunes.
    People send me stupid videos that I have to see for at least 30 seconds at least 10 times a week.
    I discovered funnyordie.com both on the internet and on Facebook, so that wasted about two hours of my time one day.
    My point is that for someone who doesn’t think they watch a lot, I watch a lot. Just think of everyone else who spends hours a day on YouTube and other sites.

  4. Or – 100 million domestic US Internet users watching a little over an hour and a half of video each. The Internet is big. These numbers are not necessarily stat pumping or particularly sad commentary. Toss in international users and it’s probably a lowball number.