Hulu keeps bringing in the fans, even without Sarah Palin

January 5, 2009

After jumping to become the sixth most viewed online U.S. video site in October, Hulu managed to keep its spot in November despite not having the benefit of a Sarah Palin/Tina Fey boost from Saturday Night Live

Hulu is the new star of the rapid growth of online video as a mainstream media in U.S. New comScore data shows more than 77 percent of all U.S. Internet users watched online video.  

YouTube is, of course, the most watched video site by quite a stretch, with more than 12 billion videos watched. Fox Interactive Media (mostly MySpace) stands at No.2 with 439 million; Viacom Digital has 325 million and Yahoo next with 304 million. Microsoft had 296 million.

Hulu had 227 million videos viewed and maintained its highest position even though several commentators had expected Hulu’s boost would fade after the election. It’s also interesting because unlike YouTube, Hulu has managed to populate most of its mix of TV shows and old movies with advertising. This may be annoying to some online viewers but it is widely admired in the digital advertising world.

The slick site, owned by News Corp and NBC Universal, keeps winning friends and fans across the board. The New York TImes on Sunday, for instance, professed its love thus:

On Hulu, you can also watch full-screen, in nice, rolling high-resolution. After years of watching YouTube, I thought I had stopped caring about glamorous presentation. But man: the neatness and elegance of Hulu — where you can watch hundreds of whole shows from NBC, Fox and other networks, as well as movie and news clips — is so relaxing.

Top U.S. Online Video Properties* by Videos Viewed November 2008

Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore Video Metrix

Property                    Videos        Share (%) of

                             (000)           Videos

Total Internet            12,677,063         100.0

Google Sites               5,107,302          40.3

Fox Interactive Media        439,091           3.5

Viacom Digital               324,903           2.6

Yahoo! Sites                 304,331           2.4

Microsoft Sites              296,285           2.3

Hulu                         226,540           1.8

Turner Network               214,709           1.7

Disney Online                137,165           1.1

AOL LLC                      115,306           0.9

ESPN                          95,622           0.8
*Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks.  Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Thank you for this information. I had never heard of hulu until now.

Posted by CHARLEE | Report as abusive

Hulu is cool… however its not updating its video content of late

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

Now, please put Hulu as a channel on my Roku (Netflix) set-top-box, so I can watch in my living room, on my TV, and I may never need broadcast again.

Posted by Marty | Report as abusive

If you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 you can download OnPlay on your home PC and use the gaming platform to stream the media to your TV. This includes Netflix and Hulu.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Youtube was only sold for $1 Billion US, I bet the inventors of Youtube are kicking themselves and wondering why they didn’t hold onto it for longer before selling. I guess I would part with a project too for $1 Billion US.

It will be exciting to see where the future of online video goes…

Posted by Adrian Eden | Report as abusive