Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Sarah Palin, Please Come Back! Hulu Traffic Drops in November

File under “interesting, but understandable”: After a flurry of election-related interest in October, traffic to red-hot Hulu fell off in November. Blame Sarah Palin–or the lack of her.

ComScore says that traffic to the joint venture between News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox and GE’s (GE) NBC fell 10.8 percent from October to November, dropping from 5.3 million unique visitors to 4.8 million. (Hulu’s PR team notes that ComScore’s separate “VideoMetrix” panel assigned a much bigger audience to the site last month: 24 million uniques. They haven’t put out November numbers yet but I’ll update when I get them).

ComScore (SCOR) says U.S. traffic at Google’s (GOOG) YouTube also dropped that month, but by a much smaller margin–0.006 percent. And since YouTube is a global property, those numbers are less telling. Hulu, meanwhile, is a U.S.-only site (much to the dismay of blog commenters).

Apologies for not figuring out how to show you this data in graph form–I’ll figure it out eventually. For now, click to enlarge.

This makes plenty of sense: Hulu was one of two places were you could (legally) see the “Saturday Night Live” Sarah Palin clips, which were huge sensations. The other one,, dropped a whopping 50 percent–from 14.1 million to 7.2 million, comScore says.

And all sorts of Web sites that enjoyed a bump during the run-up to the election have tailed off a bit since then. ComScore says the Huffington Post, for instance, is down 20 percent– from five million uniques to four million. Presumably Oak Investment Partners was aware of that before it sank $25 million into the site last month.

Meanwhile, Hulu still shows impressive growth. If I could have figured out how to create a graph, you’d see that Hulu has still had a huge run-up since March, when it left beta.

Speaking of beta, video site/blog punching bag Joost has logged its first full month of traffic since its Web video player became open to the public. ComScore pegs traffic at 1.1 million uniques; the company says that its data, which include global traffic, show 2.1 million.

Those aren’t huge numbers–I can think of several text-only blogs, which cost a lot less to build and operate than Joost’s site, that garner more eyeballs than that–but they’re not terrible either. Still, Joost has a lot of ground to catch up if it wants to give Hulu a run for its money.

Last but not least! Here’s an excellent clip from the smart folks at the Onion. It’s a month old, but news to me. Enjoy:

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