Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Watchers Boast a Very Short Attention Span, Over and Over Again

Amid a break between demos and parties at the Consumer Electronics Show, a reminder of just how astounding YouTube’s hold on the video-watching public is: While everyone knows that YouTube viewers are only consuming little chunks of video at a time, they are consuming a lot of it.

Take a look at this chart from comScore’s recently released November data (click to enlarge):

That’s close to two videos per day. And since comScore (SCOR) figures that the average online video runs something like 3.1 minutes, that’s nearly three hours a month per viewer on Google’s (GOOG) video site.

In a note today, Citibank analyst Mark Mahaney offers a slightly more conservative monthly estimate for YouTube, via Hitwise: 112 minutes per user. That makes sense, given that other research outfits estimate that most users bail after the first minute of any online video. That’s still a staggering number, though, given that Hitwise pegged that number at three minutes per user per month way back in 2006.

Next trick: Figuring out how to take all those eyeballs, who come back over and over again in ever-increasing numbers, and making money from them. I know this has been difficult to date. But it can’t be rocket science, right?

For instance, I’d gladly watch a short pre-roll ad before I saw this clip:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald