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Summary:

For the first time, Nielsen has released public rankings of individual TV shows watched on network web sites. Lost was the big winner in December, pulling in more than 1.4 million viewers on ABC.com, followed by Saturday Night Live with 1.1 million viewers on NBC.com, and […]

For the first time, Nielsen has released public rankings of individual TV shows watched on network web sites. Lost was the big winner in December, pulling in more than 1.4 million viewers on ABC.com, followed by Saturday Night Live with 1.1 million viewers on NBC.com, and Grey’s Anatomy with 879,000 viewers on ABC.com.

nielsen_top_10_tv

The important caveat to these rankings is that Nielsen only included data from the network sites themselves, not outside aggregators like Hulu, which carries NBC and FOX content. Nielsen reported that Hulu streamed more than 216 million videos in December, so that would undoubtedly have an impact on the overall rankings.

The Nielsen data also shows how people are using the web to watch TV on the web differently. While Lost topped December’s rankings, the new season wasn’t even on TV until January, so audiences were most likely refreshing themselves before diving into the mystery. Saturday Night Live on the other hand got a boost from the online buzz generated by sketches that go viral. And then there are the people who are watching online to catch up on missed episodes.

And just as a point of comparison, Grey’s Anatomy had 879,000 unique viewers on ABC.com during the month December. On the night of December 11 alone, Grey’s Anatomy had 6.2 million viewers.

Nielsen also looked at the time spent with broadcast TV shows, which produced a much different list. Audiences went beyond just trying these shows out, they stayed to watch more of the program (and the ads). While Priveleged only got 29,000 unique viewers, those viewers spent 214.6 minutes (more than three and a half hours) watching it in December. Chuck and Lipstick Jungle may not grab people’s attention on TV, but viewers spent more than two hours watching each of those shows.

nielsen_programs_time_spent

And if that wasn’t enough NewTeeVee data for you, Knowledge Networks released a new report today that said about one in five (21 percent) Internet users between the ages of 13 and 54 now watches full TV programs online.

  1. Now the big questions is… What CPM did they get for those 1.4 Million viewers? and… How does that compare to what Ask A Ninja’s viewers and CPM?

    Anyone want to chime in and make some noise about this so media buyers will see the value in web video series that reach more people online than LOST does?

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  2. The numbers are basically meaningless without including the over 200 million streams from Hulu. These numbers make it seem as if ABC is dominating the online episodes game when FOX and NBC are clearly the leaders via Hulu.

    I also have questions about CPMs, but it’s highly unlikely that data will be made available. Jason Kilar from Hulu was pressed on that several times at NewTeeVee Live to no avail. At Watercooler, we have partnerships with Hulu and ABC.com which integrates their videos into our Facebook apps, and they still don’t share that kind of info with us.

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    1. @Bryan,

      Fair enough. But I don’t think they are meaningless. They at least give us a sense of how many people are watching videos on the respective sites and begin to illustrate how important Hulu is to NBC and FOX’s overall online viewership numbers. Now we just need Hulu to cough up their numbers…

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  3. [...] NewTeeVee notes that web TV still has a long way to go to catch up to traditional broadcasts. For example, Grey’s Anatomy had 879,000 viewers on ABC.com for the entire month of December, while one episode of that show on December 11 attracted more than 6 million television viewers. Still, a new study from Knowledge Networks out today finds that 1 in 5 web users between the ages of 13 and 54 are now streaming entire television programs online — that’s up from 1 in 10 in 2006. [...]

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  4. Too bad the ABC player sucks. I’d rather watch on Hulu, but ABC doesn’t share enough with Alec Baldwin’s site.

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  5. [...] networks’ own offerings have been helped by similiar ease of use as well; for example Lost netted ABC 1.4 million viewers in December [...]

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  6. [...] networks’ own offerings have been helped by similiar ease of use as well; for example Lost netted ABC 1.4 million viewers in December [...]

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  7. [...] at 2.5 million uniques and 48 million total streams. That’s up from 1.4 million viewers in December, when Lost also won when it wasn’t even airing fresh episodes. It seems ABC’s strategy [...]

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  8. [...] but Harper’s Island is no Lost, nor does the new show have the loyal followers.According to Nielsen, Lost ranks highest on the Internet, beating out all other television episodes with a little over [...]

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