Nielsen says YouTube, Hulu boost December online video numbers

YouTube and Hulu ranked Nos. 1-2 as the top brands in the Nielsen Company's rankings for December 2009, helping to push up the time users spent viewing online video some 13 percent year-over-year. December's 137.4 million viewers (a 10.3 percent increase) watched an average of 193.2 minutes of video. Overall, Nielsen said some 10.7 billion total streams were reported last month, an 11.8 percent increase over a year ago.

Month-over-month, nearly all the metrics were down slightly, continuing a mini-trend that saw November's numbers slip from October as well. From November to December, unique viewers dropped 0.7 percent (it was off 0.2 percent from October to November), total streams were off 4 percent (down 0.5 percent the previous month), streams per viewer fell 3.3 percent (down 0.2 percent the previous month) and time per viewer slipped 3.4 percent (down a whopping 5.8 percent October To November).

The numbers, though, underscore a dissonance most of the industry feels with Nielsen's reporting of online viewership. The company has invested $1 billion in multi-screen audience measurement, but  a brouhaha between the company and Hulu last year shows that it still may have a way to go. The company has begun an aggressive rollout of its online-viewership measurement tool TVandPC in December. The company said it plans to have the program up and running in 7,500 homes by the end of August.

On a company-by-company basis, meanwhile, Nielsen said Google rang up some 105.6 million unique users in December, Yahoo came in second at 27.5 million and Hulu at 13.6 million. Google served up 6.4 billion streams last month, Hulu 635 million and Yahoo 244 million.

Turner Sports and Entertainment replaced ABC Television in the Top 10 brands list for December, moving into fourth place with 143 million streams to some 5.8 million unique viewers.

For more:
- see this Nielsen report