Video driving UK online media consumption

The UK’s appetite for online video consumption is escalating, with 47% annual growth and online advertisers reaping the benefits.

Internet research firm comScore says UK viewers watched 4.7 billion videos online in April, while 21.8 million UK internet users was 971 million online display ads.

“The online video market currently relies heavily on display ads for monetization, and in the coming months and years we can expect that video ads will play an even more prominent role. Despite the market’s overwhelming size and audience at this phase of the growth curve, it is also clear that we’re still in the early stages of advertising optimization and effectiveness in this increasingly important entertainment channel,” said Mike Read, SVP and managing director, comScore Europe.

Google sites, the lion’s share attributed to YouTube, ranked as the most viewed online video property in April with 2.4 billion videos viewed, representing a 58% annual increase.

The BBC portal ranked second with 79 million videos viewed, followed by ITV Sites, 34.7 million videos,, 31.7 million videos, and Microsoft sites with 30.2 million videos.

All of the top ten video properties experienced double-digit growth during the past year, while several saw their number of videos viewed multiply by a factor of two or three.

Facebook and AOL, who only launched video within the last year, experienced the most growth at 231% and 632% respectively.

Of the 36.8 million UK internet users, 96% or 35.4 million were exposed to some form of display advertising, ranging from static banners, rich media, and video ads. delivered display ads to the most people in the multimedia category, with 18.5 million visitors viewing a total of 621 million display ads. Metacafe ranked second with 1.6 million ad-exposed visitors, followed by WindowsMedia  at 1.2 million ad-exposed visitors and MySpace Video at one million ad-exposed visitors.