Visits to online video sites grew by over a third in the UK over the past year, with over 785m visits to websites such as YouTube in September alone.

Experian Hitwise has released new stats that demonstrate the rising popularity of online video, showing that between September 2010 and September 2011, traffic increased by 36%, with this figure rising to 80% if you take the start date back three years.

Last month we looked at what UK Internet usage would look like if it was condensed into a single hour, based on data that showed that UK Internet users spent 3.4bn hours online in August. Whilst social media accounts for almost a quarter of all time spent online in the UK, it was revealed that ‘entertainment’ accounted for around 15% of time spent online, with video-on-demand sites such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD proving particularly popular.

Despite there being 785 million visits to online video sites from UK users, this month’s data from Hitwise shows that online video specifically only accounted for 4% of all Internet visits, but a whopping 240m hours were spent watching it, with a third of all online video searches are seeking music content.

It perhaps goes without saying that YouTube is the most popular video website, accounting for almost 70% of all visits to video websites in the UK, and it’s now the third biggest website in the UK after Google and Facebook.

Oh, and it seems that East Londoners have a particular penchant for online video, as they are the most prolific users of such websites in the UK. Apparently, they are a third more likely to visit sites such as YouTube and Vimeo than the average Internet user.