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Americans are watching billions of videos on YouTube

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Last week YouTube announced that the site was averaging a staggering 3.5 billion hits a day.

A new report published by ComScore, which measures online activity, paints a more detailed look at where those views are coming from—at least in U.S.

According to ComScore, 86.2 percent of Internet users watched videos online last month. That translated to a total of 184 million users watching 42.6 billion videos, with an average of 5.5 minutes spent on each one (and only 0.4 minutes spent on ads).

As illustrated above, nearly half of all usage occurred on YouTube. The video-sharing site passed 20.9 billion views for the first time. (ComScore did respond to a request to clarify if the summary included embedded videos or only direct viewing.)

With roughly 161 million unique viewers, the combination of YouTube and Google, as credited by comScore, had nearly triple the reach of Facebook for online videos. The social network boasted less than 60 million unique views.  

Given that online stars are gaining serious mainstream attention, and Hollywood, in turn, is producing professional channels for the site, maybe YouTube really is the new TV.

Photo by francescominciotti