YouTube Hits 1 Billion Users as Hulu Takes Third Place

Includes: GE, GOOG, NWS, YHOO
by: TechCrunch

By MG Siegler

Just last month, we wrote that Hulu had gained some 10 million viewers to become the fourth largest video portal on the web. Now, it’s added another victim to the list: Yahoo, to move into #3 — at least in terms of videos viewed.

To be clear, the new March US numbers released by comScore show that Hulu is still slightly behind Yahoo’s video properties when it comes to unique viewers. But the NBC and Fox-backed Hulu should pass it any day now in that category as well. Meanwhile, the number two player, Fox Interactive Media (which runs MySpace), is slipping just as quickly as Hulu is rising in videos viewed. It could well be as soon as this month when Hulu moves into the number 2 web video position.

Interestingly, both Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and FIM is still making small gains in unique visitors to their video portals, but both are seeing those users watch less videos. Hulu, on the other hand, is seeing a rush of new users, and is seeing large gains in the total number of videos viewed. Obviously, this speaks well to the company’s monetization strategy, which relies on viewers to watch more videos and sit through their short, interlaced ads.

Meanwhile, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), with its dominant YouTube property, shows no signs of slowing down. It crossed a billion unique viewers for the first time in the US, according to comScore’s numbers. And it gained some 600 million videos viewed for the month. It now controls 41 percent of the online US video market while FIM has just 3% and Hulu rising to 2.6%.

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