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Top YouTube partners stealing 1.5 billion monthly views

YouTube viewers exceed 4 billion video views every day, but new data from Nielsen shows that the Google-owned video site's top five partners accounted for 1.5 billion views in May.

For the first time, Nielsen is publicly reporting streaming measurements for thousands of YouTube partners. The top five channels — Vevo, Warner Music Group, Machinima, Fullscreen, and Maker —made up nearly 1.5 billion total streams.

"To put this into context, YouTube continues to be the top online video destination in the U.S. with over 136 million unique viewers who streamed 16 billion videos during May 2012," Nielsen said in a blog post.

Nielsen revealed that more than half of each channel's unique viewers were under the age of 35, while Fullscreen and Vevo skewed toward an older demographic.

In May, about one in six Americans — almost 23 million unique viewers — who watched online videos streamed them on the WMG YouTube channel, Nielsen said.

While Vevo, a music video website operated jointly by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media with EMI licensing, led in total streams (695 million), video-game network Machinima averaged the most streams per viewer at 24. Media company Maker Studios drew 9.7 million unique viewers, who averaged almost 10 streams per viewer, Nielsen reported.

The video-sharing website celebrated its seventh birthday on May, reporting at the time that users now upload a whopping 72 hours of video to the site every minute, which grew in just one year from 42 hours of video per minute.

Earlier this month, YouTube announced new deals with music publishers that will provide them with more money-making opportunities, as well as increased copyright protection.