comscor1021408.pngUser behavior is surprisingly diverse when it comes to watching online videos, a recent study by Comscore and Media Contacts has found. The data provides a more granular perspective on the surge of people going to online video sites, instead of watching television.

The 20 percent of viewers who watched video the most averaged 841 minutes of viewing per month. The next 30 percent averaged 77 minutes. The other half of the population watched just six minutes.

These top 20-percenters also generally spent more time on foreign-language sites, such as Chinese-language video sites Youku.com and Todou.com.

The middle 30 percent, meanwhile, favored online video content on sites run by major broadcasters, including CBS TV Local, ABC Daytime, and others — not YouTube. Notably, a separate study by Nielsen shows that the majority of people view online videos on broadcaster’s sites are female. While Comscore-Media Contacts study didn’t address gender, one can guess through putting these pieces together that the middle 30 percent in its study tend to be female.

Lastly, the 50 percent of people who only watch a few minutes of online video per month are serious TV watchers. Out of this group, 46 percent indicated they watch more than 13 hours of TV per week. Unsurprisingly, a lower percentage of the other two categories watched as much TV. Of the middle group, only 39 percent watched as much TV and among the top 20 percent, only 30 percent watched as much TV.

YouTube was the top video site for all three groups in the study, reaching 54 percent of all video viewers.

It is in this context that YouTube is introducing a range of new features, designed in part to position itself even more as the online alternative to television.

The company is going to launch a series of branded videos featuring “living legends,” starting with concert videos from The Rolling Stones. Advertisers trying to reach YouTube users will also be getting more data on users and videos, such as the geographical locations of viewers. For users, the company will launch video recommendations based on your viewing preferences, better video-editing tools, and YouTube videos that can be displayed on places like really big TVs — more here.