New Data Shows Hulu Serves More Video Ads Than Google

More Than 566 Million Video Ads in June, According to New Numbers From ComScore

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NEW YORK ( -- Hulu is far from the biggest video site on the web; YouTube holds that distinction by a wide margin. But Hulu is a lot bigger than YouTube in one area that counts: the number of video ads it serves each month.

Hulu commands some of the highest ad rates in video, about $35 for 1,000 impressions.
Hulu commands some of the highest ad rates in video, about $35 for 1,000 impressions.
In fact, no other video site or ad network served as many video ads in the month of June than Hulu, according to new measurement data from comScore. Hulu served more than 566 million video ads in June to 7.6% of the U.S. population in June. By comparison, Google's sites, including YouTube and Google's ad network, served just over 200 million ads to 15.6% of the country.

The new numbers are part of comScore's next-generation Video Metrix measurement service, released to clients on Thursday. The company began measuring video on the web more than three years ago but only recently became able to discern the ads in and around the content, and report that data separately from the content itself.

The result is data similar to the commercial ratings from Nielsen that the TV networks and agencies began using to buy and sell advertising several years ago, and will give new insight into the economics of video sites, which until now have been relatively opaque.

Hulu was 98% sold-out in June, according to an exec familiar with the matter, and passes as much as 70% of ad sales revenue to its content partners and third-party distributors. Hulu CEO Jason Kilar told the New York Times in March that the site made $100 million in 2009 and expected to match that by summer of 2010. With its high-quality content and much-lower ad loads than TV, Hulu also commands some of the highest ad rates in video, about $35 for 1,000 impressions.

Hulu also pioneered the choose-your-own pre-roll ad format, where advertisers only pay when their ad is chosen, a format later adopted by an industry consortium led by several media companies and Publicis unit Vivaki.

Because it is predominantly short clips, YouTube does not lend itself to online video ads in the way that Hulu's long-form TV content does. But Hulu is well above other purveyors of TV content such as Viacom Digital, CBS Interactive and ESPN, and trailed more closely by video ad networks like Tremor Media and Brightroll.

ComScore has been working on the next iteration of Video Metrix to bring online video measurement more in line with TV standards.

"Online video has evolved in recent years from a medium delivering primarily user-generated content to a channel that now delivers a great deal of professionally produced long-form content that is identical to what a viewer would find on TV," said Tania Yuki, comScore senior director of video and cross-media products. "ComScore recognized that it was time to revisit our measurement of this space in order to provide the information being demanded by media planners as content increasingly moves towards digital formats."

Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Video Ads Viewed
(Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations, June 2010)
Property Video Ads (in millions) % Reach (Total U.S. Population) Frequency (Ads per Viewer)
Hulu 566.162 7.8 24.2
Tremor Media Video Network* 523.938 21.4 8.2
BrightRoll Video Network* 333.492 16.5 6.8
Microsoft Sites 222.427 8.1 9.2
SpotXchange Video Ad Network* 202.408 13.1 5.2
Google Sites 200.011 15.4 4.3
Break Media 179.603 9.6 6.2
CBS Interactive 151.123 7.3 6.9
ESPN 149.717 4.2 12.0
Viacom Digital 135.629 8.0 5.7
Total Internet: Total Audience 4,341.110 46.1 31.5
*Indicates video ad network/server
Source: comScore Video Metrix
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