Long before the iPad was launched, we posited that it would change the way people consumed video. Well, based on some very (very!) early data from MeFeedia, Apple tablet is already considered an ideal device for watching online video by its users.

Despite a limited number of iPads on the market, the device is already coming up big in MeFeedia’s internal stats. Less than a week after launch, the iPad ranks sixth among mobile devices for accessing video through the site and its search engine, behind the iPhone, iPod touch, SymbianOS, Android, and Blackberry. But the actual viewing numbers are the interesting part: according to MeFeedia, iPad users consume two and a half times as many videos as the typical web user and three times as many videos as iPhone users. More importantly, those users spend three times as much time watching video as the typical web user, lending credence to our theory that the device’s form factor hits a sweet spot for personal media consumption.

It’s important to note that these stats are only for videos that are viewed through MeFeedia and its search engine, and therefore represent a small sample size of users. Also, since Adobe Flash isn’t supported by the iPad, those stats only include videos available through web pages that are HTML5-enabled. Considering the limited amount of web video content actually available on the iPad in these early days for the device, however, those numbers are pretty impressive.

Not just that, but there’s reason to believe that video viewing through iPad apps might be even more pervasive on the device. Apps from Netflix and ABC were listed among the top three most-downloaded in the iPad store yesterday. In an email, Netflix vice president of corporate communications Steve Swasey told NewTeeVee that the Netflix app was the Number 1 third-party application over the weekend, based on number of downloads.

We think this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that users will continue to embrace the iPad for video consumption, particularly as more publishers ready HTML5-compliant web sites and more premium app offerings from video sites like Hulu become available. As HTML5 publishing and monetization tools mature, expect the quantity and quality of video available through the iPad to get richer, and the interest in watching video on the device to grow.

Related content on NewTeeVee: The NewTeeVee Guide to Watching Web Video on the iPad

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Can Anyone Compete With the iPad? (subscription required)



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