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MJ Death, Iran Unrest Drive Online Video In June

The death of pop singer Michael Jackson and political unrest in Iran drove a record of more than 157 million U.S. Internet viewers to watch 19.5 billion online video clips in the month of June, according to media measurement firm comScore.

The Internet sites of major cable properties benefitted from the interest in the popular events, with notable increases at Viacom Digital (which includes, Microsoft (which includes MSNBC) and Turner (which includes CNN), comScore said.

The previous high-water mark for Internet video was in April 2009, when 151 million viewers watched 16.9 billion online videos, according to comScore. July numbers could also be strong, given the coverage of Jackson's July 7 funeral.

Google again ranked as the top U.S. video property with 7.6 billion videos viewed, with accounting for more than 99 percent of all videos viewed at the property.

Viacom Digital ranked second with 774 million videos -- more than double 315 million in April -- followed by Microsoft with 696 million (versus 288 million in April).

Rounding out the top 10 were Blinkx (623 million videos), Fox Interactive Media (598 million), Turner (496 million), Hulu (373 million), Yahoo (371 million), CBS Interactive (195 million) and AOL (135 million).

In June 2009, the average online video viewer watched 453 minutes of video, or nearly 7.6 hours, according to comScore.