Just in time for TV's upfront, NBCUniversal/News Corp.'s Hulu illustrates why the Internet video could be a growing factor in traditional TV media plans.
The big premium video site has grown nearly 500% this April versus a year ago to some 373 million streams per month, according to Nielsen Online. Nielsen says 30% of Hulu's audience is between the ages of 35 and 49.
Still, Hulu has a long way to go, only pulling in 4% share of the online video marketplace -- a distant second place. The biggest site continues to be YouTube with 5.5 billion streams, owning 58.1% of the marketplace. YouTube itself continues to grow -- up 36% versus a year ago.
Overall, online video usage has grown 24% to an average 9.5 billion streams a month.
Recently, YouTube has tried to extend its brand beyond user-generated videos, offering a premium video site by striking somewhat mainstream TV show deals similar to those done by Hulu.
YouTube and Hulu have distanced themselves from second- and third-place competitors Yahoo and Fox Interactive Media, which houses Fox's big MySpace social network area. Yahoo has slowed 8.1%, slipping 203 million average streams per month. It commands a 2.2% market share. Fox has worse news, down nearly 40% versus a year ago to 201 million streams per month.
Next is Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network, up 16% to 176 million. Also rising is MSN/Windows Live, at 10% to 164 million streams. This is followed by big growth video destinations, ABC.com and MTV Networks -- both of which climbed 145% and 360%, respectively.
Per Nielsen, in the last six months, total time per viewer has grown 16% to an average 206 minutes per month from 178 in November. The best-performing age group is 35- to 49-year-olds -- who clock in with 416 minutes per month, some 154% higher than six months ago. The next best is 18- to-24-year-olds at 379 minutes per month, growing 151%.
Nielsen Online's April Video Data