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Hulu Missing From Top 10 Sept. Online Video Rankings

29 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Hulu, the online aggregator of repurposed TV content and subscription video-on-demand, continued its apparent slide by failing to rank among the Top 10 U.S. online video sites in September, according to new data from comScore.

Reston, Va.-based comScore found that Amazon, which includes Amazon Prime Instant Video and Amazon Instant Video (transactional VOD), ranked 10th with more than 31 million unique viewers who watched nearly 107 million videos at 12.8 minutes per viewer.

A year ago, Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBC Universal, ranked 10th with 27 million viewers watching 642 million videos, including an impressive 180 minutes per viewer — a tally bested only by Google-owned YouTube.

YouTube again topped all online video websites with more than 150 million viewers watching 13.1 billion videos (still largely user-generated), or nearly 7 hours per viewer.

It should be noted that comScore tracks video viewing on PCs and not portable devices, including smartphones and tablets — both increasingly the preferred means of consuming Hulu content. A comScore rep emailed the following "analytical" disclaimer regarding Hulu's viewership drop: "The data for Hulu experienced a decline due to the refinement of tag collection mechanisms unique to it. As a reminder, comScore advises caution when interpreting month-over-month trends."

Another source of possible viewer blowback: Hulu in September remained the third-highest site with video ads, including nearly 1.2 million spots totaling 456 minutes, or 51 ads per viewer. YouTube and BrightRoll, by comparison, showed 20 and 10 spots per viewer, respectively.

Hulu, during the same period last year, was No. 1 in video ads per viewer with 38.

In response to Hulu’s downward viewership trend, one viewer emailed to say she stopped subscribing to Hulu Plus due to the delay in accessing recent episodic programming.

“They hold episodes back on Hulu+ for so long that I lose interest in watching them at all,” she wrote.

Other top video sites in September included: Yahoo! sites with 57.3 million viewers watching 499 million videos, or 49.1minutes per viewer; AOL (53.8 million, 741 million videos at 39 minutes per viewer); Vevo (50.2M, 570M, 38.7 minutes); Facebook (46.4M, 233M, 13.6 min.); Grab Media (41M, 267M, 44.2 min.); Viacom Digital (41M, 362M, 44.1 min.); NDN (40.4M, 423M, 75.1 min.); and Microsoft sites (37M, 377M, 42 min.).

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