Statistics released this week by comScore reveal that Google owned video sites, predominantly YouTube, still lead the US online video market by some margin.

Based on unique viewer count, Google is more than two and a half times larger than it’s closest competitor, VEVO.

In July 2011 Google clocked up 158.1 million unique viewers, while VEVO had 62.1 million. Facebook climbed in to a close third position with a much improved 51.4 million viewers.

As well as boasting considerably more unique viewers than VEVO, Google had more than five times as many monthly viewing minutes and twice as many monthly viewing sessions.

When it comes to average time spent on site and on-site engagement, Google’s closest competitor is Hulu, which interestingly sees more than twice as many minutes per viewer than VEVO.

Image via comScore

Google may be the biggest in terms of users but the research suggests that that Hulu is winning in terms of ad impressions.

Hulu generated 963 million ad impressions in July 2011 (based only on streaming-video advertising and excluding branded players and overlays), which accounted for approximately 20 percent of total ad impressions that month.

Rumour has it that Google is trying to buy Hulu, and is currently caught in a bidding war with the likes of Amazon and Yahoo. Back in 2006 Google bought YouTube for $1.6 billion but it’s been suggested that Hulu could fetch as much as $2 billion.

If Google did land Hulu it would ruffle a few feathers to say the very least. As Greg Sterling explained on the Search Engine Land blog, “the company would potentially own both the largest video site and the most successfully monetized”. A scary thought indeed.

Some other interesting takeaways from comScore’s July 2011 data included:

  • Total viewing sessions reached record levels at nearly 6.9 billion
  • 86.0 percent of U.S. Internet users viewed online video
  • The average duration of online video content was 5.3 minutes
  • The average duration of online video ad content was 0.5 minutes
  • Video ads accounted for 12.4 percent of all video views and 1.2 percent of all minutes spent viewing video content online

Please note that all data is U.S. only. For more information, visit www.comscore.com.