Hulu Numbers Stablize as it Braces for Daily Show Effect

New numbers released by comScore today (s SCOR) show record engagement for Hulu in February, with an average of 2.4 hours of video watched by every viewer who tuned into the site’s programming.

Hulu’s numbers were still slightly down from December, when it clocked one billion views, but stabilized at 912.5 million views after dipping sharply to 903 million in January.

Hulu’s market share actually rose to 3.2 percent, as the number of views across the industry continued to decline to 28.1 billion views, compared to 32.4 billion in January and 33.2 billion in December. YouTube and other Google (s GOOG) sites lost almost a billion views, as they served just shy of 12 billion views, compared with 12.8 billion in January.

Some of these declines can obviously be explained by the fact that February was significantly shorter than Jaunuary, but some sites suffered more than others. Online music video site Vevo, for example, made it into comScore’s Top 10 for the first time in Jaunuary with 226 million views, but the site gave up its Top 10 spot to pirate video host, which clocked 188.6 million views.

Hulu’s numbers are encouraging, but the site could see another huge drop in the next installment of comScore’s Video Metrix. Viacom (s VIA) pulled The Daily Show and The Colbert Report off Hulu in early March, which should significantly impact its numbers.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: Survey: Who Are Those Masked Online Video Viewers? (subscription required)