Internet gambling remains a high interest area for video fans

The latest research report from media anaylsts comScore Inc show that online video viewing is a booming pastime, with interest soaring 34 percent in 2008, largely driven by a massive jump in the popularity of long-form online videos on sites such as Hulu, a NBC Universal and Fox Broadcasting Co. joint venture.

And online gambling is right up there with the leaders, scoring an increase of 36 percent as one of the top subjects.

YouTube Inc. continued to dominate the market when it comes to presentation venues for videos, accounting for two thirds of the growth in online video in 2008, but the NBC Universal and Fox Broadcasting Co. joint venture Hulu LLC is giving the Google's flagship a run for its money, generating a 57 percent increase in videos viewed during the last six months.

Momentum at MySpace rival Facebook continues, with the social networking site growing its visitor base by 57 percent to 54.6 million in 2008, comScore said in its "Digital Year in Review" report.

The average U.S. Web surfer watched 87.8 videos in November, an increase from 68.6 videos during the same period last year, research showed.

The full report can be seen here: http://www.contentinople.com/author.asp?section_id=603&doc_id=171387

"With at least 2.6 million U.S. jobs lost in 2008, it's no surprise that job search sites were the top-gaining category last year, with traffic on job sites increasing 51 percent," comScore reports "Other categories posting big gains included women (46 percent), coupon sites (46 percent), politics (43 percent), gay/lesbian (41 percent), online gambling (36 percent), radio (30 percent), family (29 percent), and online gaming (27 percent).

While comScore calls 2008 "the year of the smartphone" - thanks to the popularity of Apple Inc's iPhone and a 43 percent jump in penetration for 3G wireless networks - the firm expects that 2009 will be another record year for mobile Websites, drawing more interest from advertisers.

The telcos marketing new multimedia phones were also the top display advertisers last year, led by AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon, comScore said.

Yahoo Inc. was the top display ad publisher in November, with 37.1 million ad views, followed by MySpace parent Fox Interactive Media (34.9 million), AOL LLC (18.2 million), Facebook (13.7 million), and Microsoft Corp.sites (13.4 million).

With the recession causing media buyers to re-evaluate their advertising budgets, comScore predicts that auto manufacturers and packaged goods companies will shift their spending from TV to online video sites.

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