Monthly viewer stats used to be pretty boring to write. To paraphrase Jan Brady, it was always “YouTube, YouTube, YouTube!” (s GOOG) Then along came Hulu (s GE) and things got more interesting as the premium content site started to take off. According to Nielsen, March was a mixed bag for Hulu. The site held onto the No. 2 spot, and served up more streams (348.5 million) — but to fewer unique viewers (8.8 million) than February (308 million streams to 9.4 million viewers).
Covering stats could get downright exciting if the CBS-backed TV.com keeps growing. TV.com enjoyed nice promotion during the recent March Madness, which was watched by 7.52 million unique visitors.
CBS Interactive cracked comScore’s February Top 10 video rankings, and press releases from the network today announced that according to Nielsen’s March stats, TV.com experienced a “third consecutive month for all-time highs in streams and minutes” — but it didn’t provide specifics. And as you can see, neither TV.com nor CBS Interactive appear in these Nielsen rankings. We’ve contacted Nielsen for TV.com’s exact numbers and will update when we hear back.
Nielsen warns against comparing stats month-to-month because of the refinements it makes to its data collection process, and you’ve got to take any third-party numbers with a grain of salt. With that in mind, while YouTube and the overall online video usage stats were up in March over February — February is a short month, and both were down in March compared to January.
YouTube served up 5.4 billion streams to 89.4 million unique viewers in March, compared to 5.8 billion streams to 92.5 million uniques in January. Overall, 130 million unique viewers watched 9.6 billion streams in March (in January 135.6 million unique viewers watched 10.4 billion streams). The only overall stat that was higher in March than it was in January was time per viewer, which hit 190.7 minutes, compared to 178.6 minutes at the start of the year.