Facebook Sees Crazy Growth in comScore’s December Video Rankings

/ Jan 13, 2014


Maybe everyone took my argument that online video consumption was plateauing in the US personally.

According to the latest monthly video rankings from comScore, 188.2 million Americans watched 52.4 billion content videos in December, the first time the domestic online video audience has broken the 50 billion threshold in history. To be fair, though, Americans watched 49.1 billion content videos in October, so it’s not that much of an increase.

The top slots continue to be filled by The Usual Suspects — Google (159.1 million unique viewers), Facebook (79.1 million), AOL (76.2 million), Yahoo (53.5 million), and NDN (49.4 million).


But here’s where it gets interesting: Facebook’s content view numbers in December are up nearly 20% versus November, when it reached roughly 66.2 million uniques. If you look at Facebook’s view numbers, though, there is a much bigger difference between November and December. In November, Facebook generated over 1.23 billion video views. In December, the social network generated almost 3.75 billion views. That’s an increase of over 200% month over month*.

The obvious question is what brought about this massive change in consumption. The answer, equally obvious, is Facebook news feed video ads, which the social network began to roll out in December. Exactly how much that is responsible for the uptick in the rankings is unclear (I’m out to comScore), but news feed video has been the biggest change to Facebook’s video offering in the past month — and they autoplay to Facebook’s massive audience**. So it’s not hard to assume a correlation.

That was not the only thing of note in comScore’s December rankings. Google, which for a long time stood at the top of both the video content and ad charts, has now dropped to third in the listing of top video ad properties — behind AOL and LiveRail. Overall though, the industry delivered 35.2 billion video ads in the US, a massive increase from the 26.8 billion video ads watched by Americans in November. I imagine the holiday season and the extended break around Christmas and New Year’s had something to do with this.


As for the YouTube channel partner rankings, VEVO continued to lead the way, with Fullscreen again as the top independent MCN according to comScore. Machinima and BroadbandTV remained out of the top 10, and everyone in the top five except for ZEFR saw their monthly unique numbers dip anywhere from 3-5 million month over month.


* A h/t to a certain someone at a certain media company for pointing this out before I was even able to look at the numbers.

** When Facebook introduced news feed video ads, it said only select users will initially see them in their news feeds. Even then, though, a fraction of Facebook’s billion-plus audience is still massive.

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