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‘Net traffic signs suggest TV offramp

Web surfers ride YouTube, MySpace wave

More signs of the Internet apocalypse for TV’s old guard: U.S. Web surfers viewed some 11 billion online videos in April, a gain of 33% from the same month last year.

According to just-released Web traffic stats from comScore, the most ominous stat is how ardently the next generation has taken to watching video on the Internet.

Online vid viewing is highest among 18- 34-year-olds, who averaged 287 minutes in April. That’s up from 175 minutes for this demo in the year-ago period, and it’s significantly higher than the overall user average for April of 228 minutes.

Average duration of each vid screened online is 2.8 minutes, which is telling, because it indicates that the lion’s share of vid viewing is not full-length TV segs but clips and the one-hit, slapstick and caught-on-tape wonders that fuel YouTube.

And make no mistake, YouTube is CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox combined on the Internet. It served up 4.1 billion vids in April, and the Google-owned site saw a big leap in its market share, which climbed to 37.3% of all Internet vids unspooled, from 16.5% in the year-ago period, according to comScore.

Among the top 10 Internet vidsites, Fox’s MySpace ranked a distant No. 2 to YouTube with 481 million vids served in April. Among the Big Four nets, ABC.com ranked highest, at No. 7, with 103 million.

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