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Online video has grown rapidly in recent years. One in five Australians (14 years and over) reported viewing online video via a PC 'in the last four weeks' in 2010, nearly double the figure in 2008, according to Roy Morgan.
Other researchers estimate much higher proportions but of different groups. Across the whole population, Australians have been adding new screen activities to old ones. Australians get audiovisual stories online in many ways and from many places. Different types of online video service based in Australia and overseas use different delivery systems and retail business models to deliver many kinds of content.
Measuring use of these services requires different tools that are not easy to reconcile and are being constantly developed by research companies. This makes analysis of the online video sector, at this stage of its evolution, more complex than other distribution sectors like cinema, television and DVD, where there is more consensus about what and how to measure, and what the metrics mean. This project concentrates on websites. Our primary measurement tool was Nielsen NetView. NetView provides data on the frequency and duration of access to particular URLs.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Australia [IAB] appointed the Nielsen Company as the sole and exclusive preferred supplier of online audience measurement services in Australia in May 2011. In October 2011, Nielsen began releasing data using a new hybrid methodology, known as Nielsen Online Ratings.We also received some data about traffic to the ABC's websites and catch-up TV service collected by WebTrends, some data and analysis on the frequency and duration of access to particular URLs from Experian Hitwise, and gathered information from secondary sources about other places where Australians go for audiovisual stories. This project identified 25 sites for detailed analysis.
Three main measures were used to analyse the selected 25 sites: (1) the size of the 'unique Australian audience' visiting each site each month; (2) the total amount of time ('total minutes') spent on each site by these visitors; and (3) the average time spent on the site per visitor. This data was obtained for the months June 2010 to June 2011. Demographic data was also supplied for the month of June 2011.

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