A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column entitled, “Recognizing the Signal and the Noise in Online Video Rankings.” In my column, I embedded five charts from Compete PRO. One showed the number of unique visitors to YouTube.com has grown, another showed the number of visits has bounced around, and three showed drops in page views, average stay, visits per person, and pages per visit over the past two years.

A couple of days later, Dawn C. Chmielewski of the Los Angeles Times ran a story entitled, “YouTube crosses 1 billion monthly users.” In her story, she interviewed Robert Kyncl, the global head of content partnerships for Google and YouTube. He told her that the rate of video consumption is growing even faster than the number of new viewers the site is attracting. YouTube now streams about 4 billion hours of video a month, up 50% over the last 12 months.

“When you look at the growth in terms of users, that didn’t grow by 50%,” Kyncl told Chmielewski. “So you can see engagement per user is growing quite rapidly.”

Now, I can’t say that Kyncl was responding to my column. But, I can repeat what Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) says to Maharajah Zalim Singh (Raj Singh) and Prime Minister Chattar Lal (Roshan Seth) in the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, “If I offended you, then I am sorry.”

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom dinner scene

And, let me do more than apologize to the entire YouTube Team. Let me share some new research from Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) that indicates Kyncl is telling the truth.

YouTube Survey: Website’s Already Large Visitor Count Continuing to Grow” was posted by Anne Pilon to Daily Survey Results, one of the AYTM blogs, on March 27, 2013, but I didn’t discover this new data until eMarketer published an excerpt in a newsletter article entitled, “Just How Popular Is YouTube?,” on April 5, 2013.

The AYTM survey, which was completed March 26, 2013, had 400 total respondents. It asked, “Do you have a YouTube account?” And 58% of respondents said that they currently have a YouTube account. Just 4% said that they have had one in the past but don’t use it anymore. And 38% said they have never signed up to use YouTube. Although I’d seen data from Nielsen on the YouTube website that indicated YouTube reached 58% of the US Online Audience in May 2011, I was surprised to see that 58.2% now have a YouTube account.

AYTM survey 1

The AYTM survey also asked, “How often do you visit YouTube?” Overall, 22% of respondents said that they visit YouTube every day. Another 28% said they visit YouTube a few times per week. 10% said they visit YouTube about once per week. 15% said they visit a few times per month. Just 4% said they visit about once per month. 14% said they rarely visit YouTube. And just 9% of respondents said that they never visit YouTube. This was the first time I had seen data on how frequently people visit YouTube.

AYTM survey 2

Next, the AYTM survey asked, “Do you visit YouTube more or less often than you did a year ago?” And 30% of respondents said they visit YouTube more often now than they did a year ago. And just 17% said they visit YouTube less often. 53% said they visit YouTube the same amount as they did a year ago. This means I was wrong and Kyncl was right.

AYTM survey 3

Finally, the AYTM survey asked, “Do you ever watch videos on other sites?” Just 8% of overall respondents said that they watch videos on sites other than YouTube every day. And 19% said they watch other online videos a few times per week. 6% said they do so about once per week. And 16% do so a few times per month. And 4% said they do so about once per month. And 37% said they rarely watch videos on sites other than YouTube. And 11% said they never watch videos on other sites.

AYTM survey 4

The net-net of this new research: YouTube’s already large visitor count is continuing to grow.

Come to think of it, this whole process kinda reminds me of the scene in the 1989 movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where the man in the fedora hat tells young Indy, “You lost today, kid, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.”

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Although, this also sorta reminds me of another scene later in the movie where Professor Jones tells his class, “Archaeology is the search for fact. Not truth. If it’s truth you’re interested in, Doctor Tyree’s Philosophy class is right down the hall.”

Actually, this kinda-sorta reminds me of the scene even later in the movie where Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery) shares a clue he discovered in the Chronicles of St. Anselm, “Only the penitent man will pass.”