According to new stats from Nielsen [via paidContent], Hulu now ranks No. 8 among the Top 10 online video sites, generating more than 105 million streams to more than 3.2 million unique viewers during July.
That puts Hulu ahead of No. 10 Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network and No. 9 CNN Digital Network. Hulu is a breath away from No. 7 ESPN at 106-and-change million streams. Hulu reached No. 10 just a few months ago.
Of course, Hulu and every other video site known to man trails the Web’s No. 1 video service, YouTube, but that’s OK. YouTube offers a mix of professional and user-generated content, while Hulu is mostly Hollywood, baby.
Amazingly, Hulu continues to gain viewers without much promotion from Fox and NBC, who you’d think could throw in a quick spot for Hulu somewhere in its 24/7 Olympics coverage.
Hulu, perhaps by design, silently rambles along, even when adding heavyweight content like Viacom shows “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report.” The shows by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert regularly account for a large percentage of the most-viewed TV episodes on Hulu.
The summer series is also a nice touch. I subscribed to the RSS feed and was continually surprised at the quality of content, depending on one’s tastes — “Lost in Translation,” “Angel,” “Raising Arizona” in June, “Men in Black,” “The Fifth Element,” “Coffee and Cigarettes” and “The Dresden Files” in July, and “Madmen” in August. Unlike other online offerings, I actually looked to see what new content was added.
We’ll see what happens over the next six months, but it sure feels like Hulu is figuring out a winning formula for professionally-produced video on the Web — even though it’s far from perfect.