Canadian Internet users are world leaders when it comes to watching video online, according to a study from digital tracking firm comScore Inc.

The company's Media Metrix service found 88 per cent of Canadians who use the Internet viewed a video online in January; during that month Canadians watched close to 3.1 billion videos.

ComScore tracks online habits in a manner similar to how Nielsen tracks television watching — through detailed analysis of a viewer base of about 25,000 Canadians.

The company also tracks online habits in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The United Kingdom followed Canada with 81 per cent of online users watching video during the month, with Germany (79 per cent), France (78 per cent) and the U.S. (77 per cent) rounding out the top five countries.

ComScore Canada vice-president Bryan Segal said the results show Canadians are "high adopters of technology."

Canadians consume all kinds of content

"We're content-heavy people," Segal told CBC News. "It's not just video, we also read more and our online habits are highly skewed to entertainment."

Segal also noted that Canada's high broadband penetration, relative to other G7 nations, also means more Canadians with Internet connections are able to watch video.

In Canada, half of the videos watched were through YouTube, Segal said. Megavideo.com and Yahoo were among other top video-watching sites.

The online video viewing habits of Canadians has been the subject of debate in recent weeks at a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearing into whether the Internet and wireless communications should continue to be exempt from Canadian broadcasting regulations.

In particular, CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein asked many panelists whether it was possible to track Canadian content and in particular video.

Segal said comScore's data cannot measure Canadian content, as video would need to be tagged in some way as Canadian before his company could properly measure it. Experts that appeared before the CRTC argued implementing such a tracking method would be extremely difficult.

With files from the Canadian Press