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Hulu Gaining Audience, Losing Share Viewing Patterns Changing Fast
Date: 6/10/2009
In April over 397 million videos were viewed on Hulu, the long-form video site created by NBC Universal and News Corp, an increase of 4.5% from March. Hulu is being promoted as sort of DVR for everyone, a site where you can watch your favorite TV shows when you want to, and it has become increasingly popular at the same time that TV network ratings remained depressed. But Hulu actually lost market share as other online video sites posted even greater growth. The number of videos watched on Google?s market-leading YouTube soared 15% in April giving the site a potent 41% market share. According to ComScore, Fox Interactive Media (My Space) was the second leading provider of online video with a 3.1% share followed by Hulu, which has just launched a major marketing campaign, with 2.4% (down from 2.6% in March).

Overall viewership of online videos was up 16% in April. As the over-the-air networks continue to hemorrhage viewers, online video numbers continue to climb. Americans watched an astounding 16.8 billion Internet videos in April. The average Internet video viewer watched 6.4 hours of video during the month. 107.8 million viewers watched 6.8 billion videos on YouTube, an average of 63.5 videos per viewer.

Despite its loss of market share, there was some good news in the report for Hulu. The average length of a video view on the Net rose from 3.4 minutes in March to 3.5 minutes in April?and, while Hulu accounted for only 2.4% of the videos viewed, 4.2% of the minutes spent watching online video were spent on Hulu thanks to the popularity of its growing inventory of TV shows and movies.

The increasing availability of devices that allow viewers to stream programming from the Internet on to their big flat panel TV sets can only increase the popularity of online viewing. Although online video streaming of major TV series still has some major problems including security (see ?Hacker Swipes One Piece?) and the lack of a business model that could finance network TV-quality programming by itself, it is clearly the wave of the future.
Source: ICv2