We have become a nation of streamers.
Web-traffic tracker comScore
In the U.S., 178 million Internet users -- more than half the country -- streamed a video in April, according to comScore Video Metrix. As a nation, we took in 30.3 billion videos, a lot more than the 16.8 billion clips we consumed a year earlier.
YouTube owns this space. Hulu, owned by a consortium of media giants, is a distant runner-up, with a 3.2% sliver of the market.
Outside News Corp., everyone's a winner regardless of market-share jockeying, because they're all attracting larger audiences. Even online-advertising laggard AOL
Are you ready for the bad news? Well, our lazy, eye-candy-seeking pursuits have to be leaving other industries smarting. If we took the time to collectively watch 80% more videos than we did a year earlier, where did that time come from?
I ruffled some feathers last month, when I suggested that the success of Google, Apple
Google will lead the way in selling ad space against our sticky viewing habits, but there are entire leisure industries that may crater as we the consumers reallocate our leisure time.
There's plenty of meat in comScore's trend report, but the heartiest nugget is the unspoken reality that Web-based video is growing at something else's expense.
Is Web-based video a friend or foe? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is ready to officially classify himself as a clip-culture junkie. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this article and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.