Figures released by comScore today make the surprising claim that 187 million Americans watched a total of 58 billion online videos between them last month, excluding ads. 17.7B of them were on Google sites, presumably mostly YouTube.

To clarify, comScore counts a video view as watching ‘at least three seconds’. So if you click on a link posted by a friend on Facebook, watch a few seconds, decide it’s boring and close the window, that gets counted. But it still seems like a very high number to us … 

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The USA has a population of 314M as of last year’s census. That’s everyone from 95-year-old grandmothers to babes in arms. Of those, 187M watched online video at all. And to hit the 58B figure, they each had to have watched, on average, 256 videos in one month, or 8.25 videos a day. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but I can’t help feeling somewhat skeptical.

My confidence in the numbers isn’t increased by the same source posting a table of what it says were the top 50 web properties visited in the same month. Here are the top 10:

comscore-web

Yep, that’s Yahoo! beating Google, and Microsoft snapping at Google’s heels and well ahead of Facebook.

Even allowing for some deals making Bing the default search engine, and taking into account that these numbers excludes mobile access (a pretty major flaw), I’m still finding that picture tough to believe. comScore says multi-platform figures will follow next month …

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