Iran elections-Jackson death videos spur online viewing


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 14, 2009 at 5:31 PM EDT

ComScore reported on Friday that US online video viewing hit a record high in June as people turned to the Internet for news of pop star Michael Jackson's death and Iran's election turmoil.

More than 157 million people, the largest such US audience for a single month, watched nearly 19.5 billion online videos in June, according to the industry-tracking firm's Video Metrix service.

"The surge in video viewing is primarily attributable to important news stories circulating in June, including Michael Jackson's death and the Iranian elections," comScore said.

Particularly "sizeable" gains were seen by MTV-owner Viacom Digital; Microsoft websites including MSNBC, and Turner Network, which owns CNN, according to comScore.

Google websites held firm as the most popular US online spots for video, with the number of visitors topping 112 million in a new monthly high.

YouTube served up 99 percent of the more than 7.6 billion videos viewed at Google sites.

Viacom Digital ranked second with 774 million videos viewed and Microsoft properties were third with 696 million views.

Blinkx was close behind with 623 video views logged at the website.

Microsoft websites drew 73 million video viewers and Fox Interactive was the third most popular with 59 million viewers, according to comScore.

Jackson died in Los Angeles on June 25 at age 50 from an apparent cardiac arrest and police are investigating whether abuse of a powerful drug, Propofol, was involved.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in June sparked weeks of massive protest.

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