Hulu Knocks Off Yahoo, According to Nielsen


The latest Nielsen U.S. video streaming numbers for February have 1-year-old Hulu at No. 2. Over the course of the month, the upstart site beat out Yahoo, in January after finishing higher than Fox Interactive Media (MySpace). Previously, those two massive portals had long rounded out the top two after the runaway winner YouTube.

nielsenfebruaryOver the course of the month, YouTube had 5.2 billion streams, with Hulu at 309 million, and Yahoo at 250 million. However, if you look at unique viewers, YouTube had 88 million, Yahoo 24 million, and Hulu moves way down to fifth place with 9.5 million.

Hulu itself prefers to tout comScore numbers, where it was ranked No. 6 in January in terms of both streams and uniques. comScore hasn’t released February numbers yet, but Hulu says it saw a big boost from its first-ever Super Bowl ad.

Overall total U.S. streams were down 14.9 percent and unique viewers were down 5.9 percent on the month. Nielsen did not explain the dip, though as a general rule February stats are often smaller because the month is shorter.

We’re predicting a year of big shakeups in online video stats. Hulu has made a quick ascent but its success has only brought more and more powerful players into the game. As we said earlier today, Happy Birthday, Hulu — Do We Still Need You?


Neno Brown

Liz, it would be nice to get definatives with these stats, as far as stats go, otherwise they become an iritating noise.

Liz Gannes

Sorry Neno — We’d be happy to modify our stats coverage to make it more useful, but the reality is none of this research is perfect. What are you looking for?

Davis Freeberg

Hi Liz – I’ve sent multiple emails to Neilsen asking for clarification, but they apparently aren’t willing to communicate with me. Furthermore, if you read the fine print on their website, it does suggest that this list is only paid clients. If I’m being paranoid, that’s OK, but it’d be nice if I could at least get Nielsen to definitively state their policy one way or another.

Davis Freeberg

Liz – Once again this list leaves off all of the independent video sites. Can you please confirm for your readers whether this represents the top ten of all video sites in the US or whether this is the top ten list of Nielsen clients only? If it’s pay to play in order to get on the list, then I think we should at least be made aware of it, so that we can have the appropriate amount of skepticism.


Liz, is there data on the time spent per session on Hulu? I’d be curious to know if that is higher than YouTube?
Also, is the data on their UUs accurate? If so, their penetration is far too low.

Liz Gannes

That’s all the data we have for now, but comScore usually gives more detail on time spent and # of videos watched. Check our archives for that, and the February data should be coming out sometime soon.

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