onlinevideoComScore has released their online video numbers for September 2009, and the trend continues.  Online video views are again at an all time high.

More than 168 Million U.S. viewers watched online video during that month, accumulating nearly 26 Billion total views.  Holy cow.

As usual, ComScore gives us a breakdown of the most popular sources for online video, and there are virtually no surprises.  Google still has a stranglehold on the competition, with a dominating 40.2% market share.  Second place goes to Hulu, which makes you want to celebrate until you see their market share, which is a paltry 2.2%.  (Hulu, by the way, just recently added an awesome new “Episode Release Schedule”).

Watching Hulu try and catch YouTube is sort of like watching the Detroit Lions become a good football team.

But seriously, there’s plenty to celebrate for Hulu. In addition to holding the second spot, their users are also pretty loyal.  The average Hulu viewer watched 15.1 videos in September, totaling 1.5 hours of viewing per person.  (Of course, that pales when compared to YouTube’s staggering 82 videos viewed per person).

There some really interesting (and kind of mind-blowing) data on online video in general too.  For instance, did you know the average video watched is now 3.8 minutes in length?  I was shocked at that.  I know three minutes doesn’t sound like much, especially when compared to the length of a TV show or movie.  But think about it in terms of the web.  Go open up your analytics program and tell me the average length of time spent on site is for your visitors.  If it’s anywhere near 3.8 minutes, I’ll buy you a coffee the next time we see each other.

In terms of web visitors, 3.8 minutes is an eternity, and most webmasters would kill for an attention span like that.  If everything else we’ve said before today hasn’t already convinced you to jump into online video, then zero in and focus on just this metric.  What would it be worth to you to hold your visitors’ attention for four minutes?  Because I can’t remember the last time I saw a simple text-based blog post average anything close to that.

clockAmong the rest of the findings: 84% of Americans online watched videos.  84%.  As I continue to try and convince all my clients to jump fully into online video, I’m going to stop using that statistic about how many searches are performed on YouTube every month… and I’m going to start using this stat.  84% of people online are watching online video.  Talk about a hungry audience.  They’re watching an average of about 10 hours of video every month.

What else do you do for 10 hours a month?  Think about that.  I mow the yard, probably 1.5 hours a week during the summer.  That’s still only 6 hours a month.  I spend about an hour a week at the grocery store… so that’s 4.

10 hours a month is a heck of a lot of video watching.  Considering the average person sleeps about 8 hours a night, 10 hours a week is just about 10% of a person’s waking life.

While trying to get your head around such impressive data, consider this:  What content are you creating to reach that audience?