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Hulu Grabs Online Video Podium

28 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Hulu.com, the streaming site co-founded by NBC Universal and News Corp., for the first time cracked the top three in the rankings of videos watched in March, according to comScore.

The Reston, Va.-based online data tracking company said online users watched 14.5 billion videos in March, up 11% from February. The average online video watched was 3.4 minutes, which would suggest that user-generated content still resonates the strongest among online viewers.

The average online viewer watched 327 minutes of video, or about 5.5 hours.

Hulu, which primarily features repurposed television fare, in addition to select movies and now music, generated 380 million videos viewed, or 2.6% of the online market, supplanting perennial top three Yahoo.com with 335 million videos viewed (2.3%).

The site tabulated nearly twice the percentage of time spent watching online video (4.9%) compared to amount of videos viewed (2.6%).

Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst with comScore, said Hulu is integrating wider programming options, but its primary draw remains ad-supported TV shows and clips.

“The early days of online video popularity were all about user-generated content, and that has obviously shifted,” Lipsman said. “There is still a heavy demand for premium content.”

Google Inc., via social video behemoth YouTube, once again dominated the market generating 5.9 billion videos viewed, or nearly 41% market share. YouTube for the second time eclipsed 100 million online video viewers after first achieving the milestone in December 2008.

YouTube, which recently inked streaming deals with Sony, Lionsgate and Starz, announced agreements for a series of shorts from the Tribeca Film Festival, in addition to the June 5 home entertainment premiere of French environmental drama Home, starring Isabelle Huppert.

Fox Interactive Media, which includes MySpace.com, trailed a distant second with 437 million videos viewed and 3% market share. The month saw 47.4 million viewers watching 349 million videos on MySpace.

Fox Interactive ranked second with 55.2 million viewers, followed by Yahoo with 42.5 million and Hulu with 41.6 million viewers.

Other properties included online video sites from Microsoft with 288 million videos (2% market share) and 32.1 million unique viewers; Viacom with 278 million videos (1.9%) and 27 million viewers; CBS with 192 million videos (1.3%) and 35.4 million viewers; Turner Network with 167 million videos (1.2%) and 19.6 millions viewers; Disney with 125 million videos (0.9%) and 13 million viewers; and AOL with 105 million videos (0.7%) and 22.3 million viewers.

Separately, CBS said its repurposed TV content site, TV.com, reported a 401% increase in unique viewers in March, 153% increase in video streams and 117% increase in minutes month-over-month. The site also posted significant increases year-over-year in unique viewers (1766%), minutes (2314%) and streams (2640%).

This growth propelled TV.com from 16th place to seventh place in comScore’s entertainment TV category.

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