Hulu slips in January; online video growth continues

Hulu's visit to the Land of 1 Billion views lasted only a month, comScore said. Its Video Metrix Numbers for January showed the site, which cracked the 1-billion-views barrier in December, slipped back to just over 903 million in January, a dizzying drop of some 11 percent.

And, even though overall U.S. video viewership declined slightly from December to 32.4 billion videos viewed from 33.2 billion in December, the year-over-year stats tell a dramatically different story. Total videos viewed a year ago in the U.S. rose more than 118 percent from 14. 8 billion.

Overall, comScore says some 173 million unique viewers watched an average 187 videos, down from 177 million uniques in December (average videos watched were essentially unchanged); a year ago only 147 million uniques watched an average 100 videos.

Google properties continue to take the Lion's share of viewers and videos. It served up 12.8 billion videos in January, down from 13.2 billion in December but up from 6.4 billion a year ago.

The rest of the Top 10?

  • Hulu served up 903 million views, down from 1 billion in December
  • Microsoft served up 492 million views, down from 561 million
  • Yahoo served up 435 million views, down from 539 million
  • Viacom served up 361 million views, down from 373 million
  • Fox served up 293 million views, down from 551 million
  • Turner served up 283 million views, down from 367 million
  • AOL served up 242 million views, up from 210 million
  • Vevo served up 226 million views, wasn't in the top 10 in December, it replaced
  • CBS served up 217 million views, down from 297 million views.

What's it all mean?

Essentially, it's a wash.

The amount of time viewers are spending watching videos continues to increase (it was 4.1 minutes in January, compared to 4.0 minutes in December and just 3.2 minutes a year ago), and a growing number of video sites are taking tiny pieces of the pie from Google, which saw its share of videos edge down from 39.8 percent to 39.5 percent; it was at 42.9 percent a year ago. And, while there's a certain amount of churn, the Top 10 in essence has remained the same players for the past year (with the exception of the music video site Vevo, which launched in December and already is in the Top 10 properties).

What could be interesting, is whether Hulu's fall continues, in the wake of its loss of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which kicks in this week. Are the shows really critical to Hulu, or just to the media? Time will tell.

For more:
- see the metrics for the Top 10 sites

Related articles:
Hulu hits 1 billion views 
Google's reign continues; Hulu nears 1 billion 
2010--the ascent of Hulu in the shadow of Google