There was a time that if you wanted to watch your favorite television shows, you had to plan to be home at a certain hour on a given day of the week. Well those days seem like an even more distant memory as DVR’s and TiVo’s are joined by a vast array of online video streaming options. Americans are watching more and more television content online via sites like Hulu and Netflix, and from the look of it, the trend is on the rise.
The Nielsen Company, which is best known for the “Nielsen ratings” that gauge the viewing audience of television shows, is also tracking online video viewing. And well they should be, given the fact that earlier this year, Nielsen reported that “online video usage in the U.S. is up considerably from the same time last year as time spent viewing video on PC/Mac/laptops from home and work locations increased by 45 percent.” While the number of unique online video viewers increased by a modest 3.1 percent from last January, Nielsen noted that total video streams were “up 31.5 percent to 14.5 billion streams.”
It looks like those numbers are going to keep going up in 2011. Nielsen’s March numbers indicated that “all of the top 10 U.S. video brands saw an increase in unique video viewers from the previous month.”
So what are people watching online? Not surprisingly, YouTube retains a solid number-one rating in Nielsen’s numbers, and Hulu and Netflix continue to anchor the entertainment options online. But internet users are also looking for more streamed news content, Nielsen reported: “The fastest-growing among the top brands—and new to the top 10 during March—was CNN Digital Network with a 60 percent increase in unique U.S. […]