Hulu Closer to Becoming a Household Name

When Hulu launched its first TV ad during the Super Bowl this year, it brought back dot-bomb memories for many. But that spot, along with the premium content portal’s subsequent star-studded television campaign, appears to have worked for Hulu not just in terms of viewership, but also in terms of awareness.


Data released from Ipsos MediaCT today shows that the awareness of Hulu among digital video users jumped to 41 percent in April of 2009 from just 9 percent in September of 2008. Meanwhile, reported usage of the site rose to 14 percent in April from 3 percent in September.

Of course, advertising isn’t the sole reason for Hulu’s growth. The site has made it super easy to share its content, there’s been tons of press coverage, and the growth in watching TV online has been part of an overall industry trend. Today’s findings were the latest nugget of info from Ipsos’ MOTION study, which also found that streaming full-length TV shows and movies online soared in popularity during that same September-April time frame.

Further reinforcing YouTube’s (s GOOG) dominance in the online video world, Ipsos found that awareness of that site had grown to 87 percent from 83 percent, with usage rising to 56 percent from 49 percent. But the rising streams, as it were, didn’t lift all boats. MySpace (s NWSA) dropped in terms of both awareness (to 46 percent from 54 percent) and usage (to 9 percent from 13 percent).

The download side saw a small uptick, with awareness of Apple’s (s AAPL) iTunes increasing to 49 percent from 46 percent, and usage edging up to just 10 percent from 8 percent. Though we wonder how they phrased the awareness question, since anyone with an iPod should at least be aware of iTunes the music store.