Hulu, Vevo Take A Hit As Video Views Stall

comScore released its Video Metrix numbers for January today, showing a decline across the board for all the major video sites. U.S. viewers watched 32.4 billion videos in January, compared to 33.2 billion views in December. The number of unique viewers also declined from 177.9 million to 173.4 million.

Two of the sites that seem to have been hit particularly hard are Hulu.com and the music industry joint-venture Vevo.com. Hulu was only able to generate 903 million views in January after breaking the magic barrier of one billion views in December. Vevo fared slightly better, but saw a huge decline of unique viewers.

Video views across the board were down 2.5 percent in January, but Hulu’s views fell a whopping 11 percent. Some of this can be explained by seasonal viewership behavior, with popular TV shows like Glee going on break. However, one shouldn’t expect Hulu’s ratings to get better any time soon, given the fact that the immensely popular Viacom shows The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will be leaving the site this week.

The reason’s for Vevo’s disappointing numbers is less obvious, and the numbers actually look pretty good at first. Vevo was able to gather 32.4 million unique viewers in January, which is up from 28.1 million in December. However, the site didn’t launch until Dec 9th, which means that its average daily traffic actually was down close to 15 percent. Vevo saw its average daily number of views decline around four percent.

Vevo is already getting a helping hand from YouTube with its traffic numbers; comScore not only counts videos viewed on vevo.com, but also on Vevo’s YouTube channel as well as on artist sites affiliated with Vevo’s owners, the Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: Not Your Grandfather’s Streaming Video Business (subscription required)

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