Hulu generated more than 142 million streams in September, as the premium content site continues its steady climb up the Nielsen VideoCensus rankings of the top brands on the web.
Hulu’s rise has been an strong and steady one. It had 1.7 million plays in February — while it was still in restricted beta. In April, the site cracked the top 10 for the first time ever, with more than 63 million plays. Then in July, Hulu broke the 100 million play-mark.
Nielsen doesn’t recommend doing month-to-month comparisons of its data as it says it’s constantly tweaking the system, but the overall picture is undeniable. In less than a year, the NBC/Fox joint venture has gone from nothing to No. 6, edging out established brands like ESPN and MTV. And the numbers for October should be even bigger as Hulu’s been one of the few places to catch those red-hot Sarah Palin SNL sketches, live-streams of the debates, and network shows that are still premiering.
Sure, YouTube may trounce the competition with big fancy numbers like 5.3 billion streams — but YouTube can reportedly only monetize 4 percent of its videos, whereas Hulu can monetize all of its content.