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Hulu Doing Great, But Why So Shy about Numbers?

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Hulu is doing a big PR push today around the birthday of its beta, with profiles in the New York Times and USA Today. The company shared some nice stats, like its impressive Nielsen numbers (our story) and its viewers’ receptiveness to ads. For instance, a study of four brands showed Hulu increased purchase intent by 28 percent and message association by 22 percent. Meanwhile, 93 percent of Hulu users surveyed say Hulu has the right amount of ads.

Hulu also found that 38 percent of respondents watched shows they’d never seen before that currently air on TV, 20 percent watched episodes or clips of a series they normally watch on TV but had missed, and 19 percent watched a show that’s no longer on TV. So Hulu can say that the site is additive, rather than stealing watchers from its TV network parents and partners.

But even though Hulu will tell us its users have written more than 72,000 reviews on its site, and Twitter users have “tweeted” about Hulu more than 40,000 times since April, it’s still leaving out the big stats. You know, the ones that would prove that this whole online video business is actually a business. That the site is a viable medium for consuming content. What would we like to know? Here’s three basic figures that would go a long way:

  • Actual numbers of views per episode of each show
  • Total number of registered users on the site
  • Any details at all about ad dollars, CPMs, overall revenue

Here’s hoping Jason Kilar will cough some of this up next month when he keynotes our NewTeeVee Live conference!

6 Responses to “Hulu Doing Great, But Why So Shy about Numbers?”

  1. Rick Harris

    They’ve devised a mechanism to bring region coding to the internet. They place a geo-blocking firewall in front of their content. No one outside of the US can see their content.

    Of course they’re going to be cagey about their viewership.

  2. Liz, one thing I’d love to find out is whether CPM buys for ads in Hulu are in some shape or form tied to the media buys on TV. i.e. I’ve heard of numbers as high as $70 CPM on Hulu. Is that number a combined buy with TV ads or separate?
    Also, are the ad buys done separately for in-stream ads vs. overlays. And if they have a sponsored page revenue model ?
    It may be too much info to extract from them, but hey, we can try …

  3. Liz –

    I don’t disagree with any point you make here, but must ask the question: Why do you seem surprised they don’t publish the numbers?

    They don’t even publish accurate DVD sales reports and that media has been around for over a decade.