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How to Look at Hulu’s November Numbers

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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

Difference: 18,651,000

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.

7 Responses to “How to Look at Hulu’s November Numbers”

  1. Chris Albrecht

    Hi David,

    You are correct. I wasn’t meaning the math as a straightforward equation. It was more to illustrate the gulf between the two.

    And my use of “home page” was too specific in retrospect, so I adjusted the wording in this post to read “Hulu itsef.”

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Chris, this math isn’t right- these are different metrics (visitors vs. viewers) and cannot be subtracted from one another.

    Visitor=a person who went to 1 or more times in October and may or may not have watched a video

    Viewer=a person who watched 1 or more Hulu videos anywhere on the web in October but did not necessarily visit

    You’re assuming that all visitors to watched a video, which of course is not possible. There’s no way to determine with the data cited in these press releases exactly how many Hulu video viewers used

    Also, the statement that “Media Metrix only measures visits to Hulu’s home page” isn’t correct either. It measures visits to any page on the domain, not just the homepage.

    That said, your point that the majority of Hulu viewing took place off of is well-taken.