Music videos are driving the popularity of video-sharing websites like YouTube, accounting for one-third of all views.
Statistics by Experian Hitwise show that in the UK, people spend 240 million hours every month watching online video content, 70 per cent of which is via YouTube. Over the past year, the number of visits to these sites has risen by 36 per cent.
TV shows accounted for the second-biggest driver of traffic, accounting for 17 per cent of searches. Film (11 per cent), gaming (ten per cent) and news (nine per cent) were the other most popular views.
While music is the biggest driver of traffic to the sites, the most-viewed artist is Lady Gaga. In October last year, the Bad Romance singer became the first person to reach more than one billion views of her music, narrowly beating Justin Bieber.
However, Bieber currently takes the title of the highest number of views of any one video. His track Baby has been watched 646 million times, while Gaga’s Bad Romance has been seen 422 million times.
Jennifer Lopez is soon to surpass this number though. Her music video for On the Floor currently has 413 million views.
It is not just music fans who benefit from video-sharing websites though. Florence Welch, the voice behind Florence and the Machine, told BBC Newsbeat that she uses YouTube for inspiration when writing songs.
“I became really obsessed with watching Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, clips from the ’60s and the Lana Del Rey videos recently,” she said.
“YouTube is a huge thing for me to find songs, it’s an amazing thing and full of the most random songs.
“I think for finding random stuff and seeing new things it’s really useful”.
The website is also being used in other innovative ways by artists. Coldplay’s official YouTube channel yesterday (October 26th) streamed live coverage of the band’s gig in Madrid to promote their new album Mylo Xyloto.
3,215 total views, 3 views today