SYDNEY: The average Australian internet user now watches more than seven hours of video on the web per month, according to a study.

Analysis by ComScore, the research firm, found the country's online population, standing at an estimated 10.7m people, viewed 970m pieces of content via this channel in July 2010.

Google's sites generated 55.5% of this figure on 539m hits, although YouTube delivered 99% of its market share, and secured 8.5m visitors.

Microsoft's portfolio attracted 3.3m consumers during the same timeframe, with this group streaming 9.0m items such as clips and shows.

Elsewhere, 2.7m netizens accessed equivalent material hosted on Facebook, the social network, while its overall total came in at 12.5m.

"Online video has evolved to become an essential part of Australians' daily web experience," said Amy Weinberger, comScore vice president for Australia and New Zealand.

"As advertisers look for ways to engage with consumers in an increasingly fragmented digital environment, online video offers the ability to reach large audiences in an engaging environment where ads tend to perform well."

ComScore also reported that SpotXchange was the top video ad network in Australia in July, boasting a potential reach of 50.7%, or 5.4m shoppers.

These ratings stood at 48.1% and 5.1m respectively for Adconion in second position, ahead of third placed YuMe on 4.1m and 38%.

Data sourced from ComScore; additional content by Warc staff