December Was Not a Good Month for Video on Facebook


Online metrics company comScore just released its monthly rankings of U.S. video properties. As usual, Google's YouTube remains far ahead of the competition with 157 million unique visitors who spent an average of 471.9 minutes on the site and watched 21 billion videos. The music-focused network VEVO came in second, but while Facebook was in third place in November with about 50 million uniques, it has now been overtaken by Yahoo's properties and fallen to fifth place with just about 42 million uniques. The length of the average number of minutes watch on the social network per user was up a bit, though, (23.9 minutes vs. 19.1)

While there is always some volatility in comScore's rankings, this slip by Facebook is pretty remarkable. The change may have been due to the holidays, where college students spent more time offline than usual. This is probably only part of the reason, though, as Facebook had 60 million uniques in October. It'll be interesting to see if this downward trend continues in January.

While Facebook had a bad month with regard to video then, Amazon did quite well. While Facebook may have suffered from the holidays, Amazon may have profited from the fact that more people were looking to watch long-form videos online. The site's viewership didn't even rank in comScore's top 10 in November, but came in as #9 with 28 million viewers and 95 million video views.

ComScore Releases December 2011 U S Online Video Rankings  comScore Inc

8:51 am

U.S. Adults Text More, But Growth is Slowing


When it comes to using text messaging, Americans used to lag behind the rest of the world. Now, however, it looks as if U.S. cell phone owners are doing their best to catch up with other nations. According to a new PEW Internet and American Life Project study, 73% of all adults in the U.S. who own a cell phone (that’s 83% of all adults, by the way) now use text messaging. Among those, 31% prefer texting over making voice calls (I definitely fall into that category). Unsurprisingly, a higher percentage of those who text the most also tend to prefer texting over voice calls. Overall, though, the growth in the number of average texts send per adult (41.5) is slowing after a major growth boom between the Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2010 (29.7 to 39.1).

Text messaging average per day 1

Younger and Older Adults Turn to Text Messaging

There is a clear delineation between how often young adults and older users utilize their text messaging plans, though. The actual numbers for adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are actually quite staggering: they reportedly send 3,200 text per month on average and clearly skew the average number in this study. Virtually all the younger users (95%) in this survey use text messaging on their phones.

It’s not just the younger adults who use SMS. Even those over 35 still send close to 26 messages a day on average (here, too, the most active users are skewing the numbers – the median is 10) and even those over 65 still send 4.7 SMS messages per day (median of 2).

It’s worth noting, though, that these numbers are self-reported (do you know exactly how many messages you sent last month?). Overall, self-reported data is often somewhat unreliable, so I would take this data with a grain of salt. What’s clear, though, is that texting is about as mainstream as it gets today, but it’s definitely not growing as rapidly as it was just a year ago.

Pew texting survey numbers adults


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8:15 pm

It’s Official: Spotify is Coming to the U.S.


Spotify, Europe’s streaming music darling, just announced that it is finally ready to launch in the United States. The company, which currently offers a free and paid streaming music service in a select number of countries in Europe, has long been working on a U.S. launch, but until now, it didn’t have the necessary deals with the U.S. music industry in place. Judging from today’s announcement, those deals are now in place.

You can sign up for an invite here.

As of now, though, Spotify hasn’t announced when it plans to launch yet, or what its pricing structure will look like. According to some of the rumors, one of the reasons why it took Spotify a long time to secure deals with the U.S. music labels was those organizations reluctance to let Spotify stream their music for free. In Europe, Spotify allows its users to stream a limited amount of songs for free every month. After that, users have to pay.

What made Spotify stand out among its early competitors was its ability to stream music on demand and for free. There are also numerous social elements to the service, including the ability to subscribe to other users’ playlists. Whether the U.S. version will have the same feature set, remains to be seen.

Given that Spotify is late to the party in the U.S., where services like Rdio and MOG have already managed to capture at least some of the early adopter market, it remains to be seen how well the company will do here. None of these, however, have quite the same ease of use that Spotify can offer.

This is a breaking story. We will update it as we learn more.


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4:46 pm