Online video ads double year-on-year in US

US internet users watched nearly 7.5 billion video ads last month – almost double the number viewed in February last year, according to the latest figures from comScore.

The digital measurement firm's monthly video metrics highlight the growing popularity year-on-year of online video. In February, a total of 179 million Americans watched nearly 38 billion online videos – up five per cent on the same time last year. However, the latest figures also reveal just how profitable the platform is becoming, with a surge in views of online video ads.

Video ads, which are included as “content” in the data, notched up 7.5 billion views – a 49.3 per cent year-on-year increase. Ads reached almost half the US population an average of 49 times during the month and accounted for 16.6 per cent of all videos viewed and 1.3 per cent of time spent watching video online.

Offering long-form content has helped propel Hulu to the top spot for ad impressions (1.55 billion) and the highest duration of video ads (650 million minutes). Google properties ranked second for ads with 1.1 billion views, followed by with 705.7 million, BrightRoll Video Network with 683.4 million and Specific Media with 611 million.

Overall, Google Sites remained the most popular destination for all video content, with 147.4 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 60.8 million users, VEVO with 52 million, with 43.6 million and Viacom Digital with 43.2 million.

Driven primarily by YouTube traffic, Google Sites held on to a comfortable lead over rivals both in terms of unique users and time spent on the platform. But thanks to last year’s launch of the Yahoo-ABC News network, Yahoo! Sites leapfrogged VEVO and Microsoft sites to clinch second place.