Exactly who is Hulu’s audience?

Interesting post on TVWeek yesterday: (http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/03/who_is_watching_hulu_depends_w.php)

The “story” comments on an apparent contradiction in the demographics of the audience on Hulu.

Hitwise suggests that nearly 50% of the audience on the site is 55 years or older. That data is from March.

Hulu’s response was, “check Neislen.” Neilsen’s data suggests that only 14% of the audience is 55 years or older. This data if from February….oh, and it’s more beneficial to their ad selling.

There is one thing that is certain. This is ridiculous.

First, comparing to different days of traffic is a flawed comparison in online audience review. Comparing two differents months borders on sacrilegeous.

This is especially true with the combination of panel-based measurement and such a small traffic site like Hulu.

At fault here is NBC, not Hulu or Hitwise per se. NBC might direct a press inquiry to Neilsen, but they should take responsibility to investigate how these two measurements can be so widely skewed. Their business is online.

NBC is making major advances in cross platform programming and ad selling. They should not leave out cross platform measurement. It’s probably the most important to their future success as a media company.

I’ll continue to follow-up on this story and post how NBC addresses it.

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