Nine out of 10 web users watch video

YouTube, owned Google, is still the market leading video site in the UK, US, Canada, France and Germany.

But the UK figures are good news for the BBC, now the second most popular source of video in the UK, indicating the popularity of video even before the full launch of the web TV catch-up service the iPlayer.

The service ran as a limited trial from July 2007 until the consumer launch on Christmas Day.

In the first three months of this year, the corporation reported growth of 25% month on month and yesterday said 17.2m downloads and streams had been generated in March. The popularity has escalated discussions between the corporation and internet service providers over how to fund the rising costs of delivering video over the internet.

Microsoft’s sites, which include MSN, were the third most popular network for video. Yahoo was listed fourth and MySpace’s parent company Fox Interactive Media was the fifth most popular video network in the UK.

ComScore, which recently extended its video measurement service outside the US, said Canada has the highest reach of video by web users, with 89% of the population or 19 million users regularly watching video online during December. They typically watched 112 videos during the month.

The US has the largest number of users, with 124.4 million but the smallest proportion of video users at 78%.

ComScore said the figures show the viability of video as a medium for advertisers and marketers who want to reach an engaged but often elusive online audience.

"Recent years have seen an explosion in online video viewing, not just in the US but globally, representing a robust online advertising opportunity for marketers," said Jack Flanagan, the executive vice-president of comScore.