There’s a piece in the Times about Hulu and some conflicting numbers. Nielsen, the same people who try to count the number of people watching television shows, also have a web metrics business. They estimated 9 million viewers a month; Comscore, a competing metric house, estimated 42 million. For an advertising-based business, that much variance in the numbers makes it really hard to sell ad campaigns.
Boring business talk, I know, but I brought it up to say this: I don’t watch broadcast or cable television. I rent or buy DVDs, download video from torrent sites, buy from iTunes, or—most commonly these days—watch it online. I actually watch a ton of television, but most of it has been stripped of commercials entirely.
But every day I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, as well as 30 Rock and occasionally The Office. Every single day, usually over lunch. And during those shows I see two or three commercials.
What advertisers should remember is this: Whether your commercial will play 9 million times a month or 42, for a large percentage of users, Hulu is the only opportunity you’ll have to reach us with a commercial at all.