People Spend Twice As Much Time On Netflix Than On Hulu
Netflix and Hulu are the two leading video streaming services on the Web when it comes to mainstream TV shows and movies. More people watch Netflix online than Hulu, and have since about 18 months ago. In November, 2011, comScore estimates that Netflix.com attracted 26.6 million unique visitors, versus 20.2 million for Hulu
But a better metric to compare the two is how much time people actually spend at each site. And there Netflix trounces Hulu by two to one. U.S. visitors spent 1 billion minutes on Netflix.com in November, 2011, versus 480 million minutes on Hulu, according to comScore. (One caveat here is that people also go to Netflix.com to manage their DVD accounts and browse movie titles in addition to streaming videos, but the growth in time spent is most likely coming from streaming). Netflix has an edge over Hulu in that it streams more movies than TV shows, and those tend to be longer. But if that was the only factor, you?d expect to see the same ratio over time. Yet back in November, 2010, the two services were almost neck-and-neck in time spent, with Netflix users logging 750 million total minutes versus Hulu users logging 690 million.
A few things happened over the past year which explain this growing gap. One is that Hulu, which started as a free, ad-supported video service, shifted strategies and pushed harder to convert viewers to paying subscribers. As a result, the number of people going to Hulu every month stopped growing (its 20 million unique U.S. visitors in November, 2011 was down from 21 million the year before). Netflix, on the other hand, spent the year promoting its streaming service at the expense of its DVD rental business (its U.S. unique visitors increased by about 8 million people over the same time period). Another difference is that Netflix benefits from the fact that it already has a paying subscription relationship with all of its customers, whereas Hulu still has a mix between free and paying viewers.
The biggest jump in time spent on Netflix, however, occurred in Septembe