Nielsen Analyzes Netflix’s Online Video Dominance

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After seven months of retooling following reporting glitches, Nielsen has released online video metrics that show just how big Netflix has become online, with the site not only becoming the only paid product to appear on the top 10 of both total video streams and unique viewers, but also winning users in terms of time spent on the site.

Nielsen estimates that the site streamed 200 million videos in January, up 38% on the previous month, and gained 16% in unique viewers to take it to 7.4 million total. Surprisingly, neither of these numbers puts the site on top of their respective charts; YouTube dwarves Netflix in unique viewers with 112.8 million (In fact, Netflix comes in tenth on that particular list, behind AOL, Fox, Yahoo, Hulu and even CollegeHumor) and also leads the total streams chart with 8,460 million in January alone.

What puts Netflix over the top, despite not heading either chart, is that people are watching more video through the service, in terms of time; YouTube and the other sites on the charts may stream more videos, but significantly shorter ones than the movies or television shows on offer at Netflix. In fact, Netflix takes up twice as many minutes of viewers’ time as its nearest competitor (11 hours, 8 minutes against Tudou.com’s 6 and a half hours); by comparison, YouTube’s total time per viewer is just 2 hours and 23 minutes. The lesson for YouTube here? Slow your videos down, and you may end up winning it all.

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