Hulu’s unique visitors dropped to 4.8 million in November from 5.3 million in October, according to numbers released today by comScore. It’s important to note, however, that these are comScore Media Metrix numbers, not comScore Video Metrix numbers.
The distinction is important as there is a wide gulf between the two. For example, in October the number of unique users reported by comScore was:
Media Metrix: 5,342,000
Video Metrix: 23,993,000
The two differ because Media Metrix only measures visits to Hulu itself; it does not take into consideration video distribution and embeds — an important source of eyeballs for Hulu, and the advertisers buying commercial time.
That doesn’t make the Media Metrix numbers irrelevant. A drop is a drop and this was most likely related to the Tina Fey/Sarah Palin viral video effect as Hulu was one of the only places you could officially watch those SNL skits. We’ll have to wait a month to see if/how big the drop was in the Video Metrix numbers.