It’s time once again for comScore’s monthly estimates of the online video viewing numbers. I say estimates because, as we all know, they have a particularly quirky way of counting up videos and views in general. I guess the major milestone this past month was 10 billion video ads, with Brightroll clearing 1.1 billion and just under a billion. Yowza! That’s some big ad numbers and it gets its own article starting this month.

But let’s begin at the beginning and work toward the end. On top of the increase in video ads, there was another incremental increase in average video length, to 6.5 minutes (+0.1) while ad length remained stable at 0.4 minutes. Video ads are increasing in regards to percentage of all videos, which is disheartening because it’s now 21.6% and 1.9% of all minutes, up from 20.5 and 1.6 in the previous month.

Guys, remember, the content is generally shorter, so you can’t have TV-like ad loads. Viewers aren’t going to tolerate much more. When we have to wait 45-60 seconds just to see the content we want, it’s only going to start increasing abandonment rates. Hell, if we wanted that we could just watch TV at least then it’s long enough to go get a drink or use the toilet. Some might even say it’s at its stretching point now.

comScore’s view of an online video view:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream.

Again, Google is the clear winner in all categories and Yahoo! seems to have firmly cemented itself into second place in terms of unique viewers and third in terms of videos played by comScore’s definition. VEVO maintains third and Facebook leaps into fourth over Microsoft compared to April. Viacom and AOL flip flop, News Distribution Network jumps Hulu and Amazon. Speaking of Hulu, they’re number two in regards to total videos and minutes per viewer, but tenth in uniques with just 25.7 million.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
May 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience 180,503 36,556,792 1,315.3
Google Sites 151,656 17,618,391 462.7
Yahoo! Sites 57,762 845,401 77.7
VEVO 48,258 653,656 57.5
Microsoft Sites 44,356 490,942 42.7 44,310 246,972 24.0
AOL, Inc. 39,627 569,268 60.5
Viacom Digital 39,199 433,530 53.8
News Distribution Network, Inc. 34,246 286,801 86.8
Amazon Sites 27,158 96,733 21.9
Hulu 25,689 887,812 253.7

Overall the monthly uniques were steady or slightly down as there were around 200,000 less viewers and about 300 million less videos, month-to-month.

For the top YouTube Partner channels piece of the puzzle, VEVO remains atop the pile and the only real changes are at the bottom where Collective Digital Studio and MOVIECLIPS bounced IGN and ClevverTV out of the top ten.

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
May 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 47,633 617,770 55.1
Warner Music @ Youtube 27,689 160,880 24.1
Machinima @ YouTube 23,503 388,012 65.7
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 16,158 169,230 43.5
FullScreen @ YouTube 14,135 69,806 18.4
BroadbandTV @ YouTube 8,130 38,293 16.5
Big Frame @ YouTube 7,309 41,341 19.5
Demand Media @ YouTube 6,363 15,238 7.9
Collective Digital Studio @ YouTube 6,261 40,250 22.1
MOVIECLIPS @ YouTube 6,103 15,088 8.5

*YouTube Partner Reporting based on online video content viewing and does not include claimed user-generated content

Starting this week we’re going to pull out my video advertising network recommendations to a separate article. It’s good information and worthy of having its own spotlight so keep an eye out for that later today or tomorrow.