A new comScore research study revealed that United States viewership in January 2012 suffered a slight decline from December 2012, also proving Google was right to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into getting premium partners for content on YouTube. Last month, 181 million online users in the U.S. consumed nearly 40 billion online videos, which is a drop from 43.5 billion clips watched by 182 million users in December 2011. On average, we watched 22.6 hours of online clips with a 6.1-minute duration for each clip.

The search and Internet giant continues to lead the online video market with 152 million unique viewers. Google-operated websites cumulatively account for a whopping 18.6 billion views. Rival Hulu and VEVO delivered 877 and 717 million views, respectively.. In addition to Google websites, VEVO (51.5 million), Yahoo websites (49.2 million), Viacom Digital (48.1 million) and Facebook (45.1 million) round-up the top five online video destinations in the country.

Be advised that comScore defines a video as any streamed segment of audiovisual content for both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, such as television episodes with ad pods in the middle, each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream…

As for YouTube, much of its traffic came from premium content partners, namely video music channels VEVO and Warner Music that brought in 53.4 million and 31.1 million viewers, respectively. Sitting at the third place is gaming channel Machinima (19.6 million viewers), followed by Schmooru (12.4 million viewers) and Maker Studios (9.3 million viewers). In total, VEVO clips on YouTube were viewed 845 million times. According to comScore, “Among the top 10 YouTube partners, VEVO demonstrated the highest engagement (71.1 minutes per viewer) and highest number of videos viewed (845 million), while Machinima exhibited the second highest engagement (68.5 minutes per viewer) and number of videos viewed (327 million).”

YouTube Partner Reporting based on online video content viewing and does not include claimed user-generated content

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