It outpaces online sites of all major nets combined
YouTube might be the king of the hill when it comes to video content on the Internet, but when it comes to premium programming, no one can beat Hulu.A new report from ComScore finds online audiences watched 19.4 billion minutes on the site last year. That’s nearly twice as much time as was spent watching online video on the sites of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW, with a combined 9.7 billion minutes in 2010. Hulu, of course, runs programs from three of those five neworks, as well as other cablers and some catalog film content as well. It also has a more extensive marketing budget and is the darling of online message boards, so it’s not surprising it would win the year. What is surprising about the survey, however, is how fast the broadcast networks’ websites are gaining ground. ComScore reports the network sites saw an 82% increase in time spent watching online video last year. That’s nearly five times the size of Hulu’s increase, which was just 17%. The 2011 numbers will be an interesting comparison, though, as Hulu accelerates its growth. Earlier this month, it announced that it had secured a new deal with Viacom to return “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” to its fold. The push comes as Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is under fire for a recent blog post that was critical of established practices in the television industry. The post has raised questions about how much longer his tenure with the company will last — and could lead the networks to further push their own sites. On average, 179 million Americans watched online video each month last year, reports ComScore — and engagement levels were on the rise, with people watching more frequently as the year went on. The average viewer watched more than 14 hours of online video in December, up 12% from 2009, and streamed 201 videos, an 8% increase.