Hulu Expands as U.S. Online Video Growth Slows

Total U.S. online video streams were up 17 percent year-on-year during the month of November, according to data from Nielsen. However, growth of the medium appears to be slowing, compared with the 41 percent year-on-year rise the measurement firm reported for August. Growth in unique viewers also slowed from 18 percent in August, to 11.4 percent in November.

Compared with August data, YouTube, Yahoo, and Microsoft properties all experienced drops in both unique users and the number of videos they streamed. Hulu, however, grew its user base over the same period, and experienced substantial growth in streams, from 392 million in August to over 656 million in September.

Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)
Metric November 2009 Year-Over-Year Increase (%)
Unique Viewers (000) 138,371 11.4
Total Streams (000) 11,175,082 17
Streams per Viewer 80.8 5.2
Time per Viewer (min) 200.1 12.5
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

Top Online Brands ranked by Video Streams for November 2009 (U.S.)
Video Brand Total Streams (000) Unique Viewers (000)
YouTube 6,753,100 106,852
Hulu 656,561 12,488
Yahoo 196,603 24,968
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 147,120 15,345
Fox Interactive Media 137,185 12,983
Megavideo 128,581 3,633
ABC Television 125,400 5,819
ESPN Digital Network 111,884 8,922
Blinkx 108,623 706
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network 106,266 5,297
Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

VideoCensus Methodology and Metrics: Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus combines patented panel and census research methodologies to provide an accurate count of viewing activity and engagement along with in-depth demographic reporting. Online video viewing is tracked according to video player, which can be used on site or embedded elsewhere on the Web. For example, if a “Saturday Night Live” clip from is embedded on a personal blog, that video would be attributed to NBC because it is played through an NBC video player.

A unique viewer is anyone who viewed a full episode, part of an episode, or a program clip during the month. A stream is a program segment. VideoCensus measurement does not include video advertising.

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