Blog Post

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.

7 Responses to “Hulu Closer to Becoming a Household Name”

  1. Hi,

    I share the same view as Jamie.

    There’ll be plural supply, however, we might end up where some have always wanted to go…….

    Replace Netflix with Xbox Live,or PS Network, or for that matter, just imagine MS buying Netflix.

    The Web-Video and content industries should be promoting the tv-network model of plural supply and different subjective tastes having different distributors; in short, there should be as many stations on the web as there are broadcast, rather than the ClearChannel/WalMart/Web1.0 model of a single player pwning the entire market – or, yes even online, there might be the same consequences that the cinema industry suffers with consequence to non-mediagloms content.
    Not now while the chess pieces in the industry are all up in the air, but once habits are formed and exclusivity placed.

    Another part of the problem is the continuous name-checking of youtube by ignorant mainstream media, that gives it almost exclusive share of mind, when so often, it clearly doesn’t uniquely deserve it.

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

  2. I think paid access to volumes of content is the model of the future, as long as it is streamed to the TV. The Netflix model combined with streaming devices like the Roku box is a good example. This model gives the best of both worlds when it comes to streaming content from the internet.

    Bottom line, content producers have to get paid for what you are watching in some form or another, either advertising dollars or subscription based, or we will have nothing to watch! The production costs need to paid somewhere, can’t have the cake and eat it too.

  3. Quite simply, I believe Hulu and its model are the future of TV. High bandwidth broadband access, cheap video storage in the home, and digital TVs (that double as computer monitors) make this all but inevitable. And, in general, forget charging the viewer for Internet video. Do we really still need separate Cable TV subscriptions? Or do we just need blazing fast broadband access?

  4. You’re not going to see that until they can find a way to get people to pay for it so the revenue can be split with the carriers to help defray the cost of the bandwidth.

    People want TV on the go, but don’t want to pay for it. Until the carriers find a way to make more money with it than they do with plain mobile broadband — don’t hold your breath.

    Even Qualcomm is havnig problems with their MediaFlo product because of the same reason, no one wants to pay for it and it costs too much to try and subsidize.