HAMBURG: The number of web users viewing online video has declined in Germany over the last year, but engagement levels among the remaining audience are rising.

Research firm comScore estimated 44.9m people played back this type of content during April 2011, a 4.6% contraction on an annual basis.

Google's stable of platforms, including YouTube, attracted 36.5m netizens, outstripping the 10.2m recorded by the collected offerings run by broadcaster ProSiebenSat1.

Facebook, the social network, followed on 8.8m, beating media conglomerate RTL Group, which saw its suite of services draw 8.2m people.

Viacom Digital logged 8.2m users on this measure, ahead of Vevo's 7.7m, comScore revealed, while Microsoft lagged further behind, posting 5.6m.

More broadly, the average consumer spent 19.6 hours streaming content in April, an 11.9% lift year on year.

Similarly, the time dedicated to an individual clip rose by 6.3 minutes across the same period, a 19.5% improvement.

For the online hubs owned by television broadcasters, the overall uptick in dwell time reached 29.8% here, indicating TV shows and films are increasingly being consumed via the web.

Google easily topped the charts in terms of the amount of videos watched, on 3.8bn, and a typical viewing time hitting 317 minutes.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff