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Hulu as Taste Tester

Jan 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Both Hulu and YouTube increased the number of videos their Web sites delivered in November, but the much smaller of the two is resting its fortunes on traditional television programming.
In fact, a look at the most-viewed TV shows on Hulu underscores the differing tastes of online and traditional TV viewers.
While music videos, movie trailers and user-created clips and shows remain the most popular categories on YouTube, Hulu is amassing an audience for TV shows and films.
According to the site’s own most-viewed tab for the week ending Dec. 30, the most popular TV shows on Hulu were “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Saturday Night Live,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Arrested Development” and “The Office.” None of those shows are top-rated series on-air; “Arrested Development” isn’t even on network TV anymore.
Online tastes appear to differ greatly from on-air likes. The online TV fan community TVLoop.com recently measured the top-rated TV shows on the Web during the fall, based on user growth and audience engagement online. The shows were “The Office,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Family Guy,” “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill” and “House.”
Only “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” were ranked in Nielsen’s top 20 prime-time shows for the week ending Dec. 7, TVLoop.com said. By contrast, many of the top online shows also rank high when it comes to online buzz, as measured by Nielsen Buzz Metrics.
In November, the dominant YouTube delivered nearly 5.6 billion streams to nearly 85 million unique visitors, up from 5 billion streams served to about 83 million visitors in October, according to the most recent figures from Nielsen Online.
Meanwhile, Hulu served about 221 million streams to about 7.5 million unique visitors in November, up from 206 million videos and 9 million unique visitors in October.

59 Comments

  1. That’s nearly 66 monthly streams per unique YouTube visitor versus a bit over 29 monthly streams per unique Hulu visitor. Are the Hulu streams of a longer format than those of YouTube? Does the higher propensity to view on YouTube versus Hulu have anything to do with the differences in how the advertising is presented? In what other ways would one explain the contrast?
    I’m going to review Jason Kilar’s presentation to NewTeeVee Live 2008 to see what hints might be lingering. You may recall Ravit Lichtenberg’s point that the “choice of commercial” is one that fewer viewers care to make, and that they will make that choice less often.
    http://richreader.blogspot.com/

  2. Great post Daisy. It’s interesting that we’re now starting to see mid-season premiere shows jumping into the top 10 as fans gear up for their return. Scrubs and Lost appear to be two that TVLoop users are most looking forward to as they’re really starting to gain momentum.

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