In doing so, Hulu bests all of the major networks — NBC and Fox (Hulu’s parents), ABC, and CBS. It’s an impressive feat.
At the same time, Hulu is expanding its content footprint by adding seven partners, meaning its library of current and vintage TV shows will be more widely available. Hulu videos will be distributed on entertainment and social networking sites TV.com, TVGuide.com, BuddyTV, Flixster.com, MyYearbook.com, Break.com, and Zap2it.com.
“While it is extremely early in terms of Hulu’s history of serving users, we’re quite excited to see such positive trends in Hulu’s growth and viewership,” Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive officer, told Reuters.
In April, people watched 63.2 million videos on Hulu and its partners’ sites and spent on average 129.3 minutes per month, beating nearest rival ABC.com (60.8 million videos, an average of 57.3 minutes).
Hulu, Turner Entertainment New Media Network, CNN Digital Network, Disney Online, ESPN, MSN/Windows Live, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network, Yahoo!, and Fox Interactive Media — Nos. 10 to 2, respectively — trailed online video behemoth YouTube by a huge margin. YouTube served up 4,052,984 total streams, everybody else combined presented 1,300,658 total streams, according to Nielsen Online.
To Hulu’s credit, it’s one of the few places on the Internet where people can easily find a library of recently broadcast and archived TV shows. It also helps that Hulu’s user interface is clean, reasonably well organized, the video player is above-average, and the quality is great.
In light of its success, NBC Universal digital boss George Kliavkoff said at the Streaming Media East conference that Hulu is beginning to look beyond streaming video on a personal computer to other Internet-connected devices, including mobile phones.
While expansion is laudable, here’s hoping that quick success doesn’t go to Hulu’s head. The whole relationship between TV over-the-air, on the Internet, and available for download hasn’t been worked out yet. No need to get cocky just yet.