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Hulu Continues Rapid Growth
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Update: Hulu is reportedly critical of the latest ranking it has received from Nielsen Online.

Nielsen reported 8.9 million visitors to Hulu in March, while comScore said there were 42 million. There were 373 million videos viewed on Hulu in April, up from348 million in March. Even though the number of videos viewed was up, Nielsen said unique visitors to Hulu had declined from 9.5 million in February to 8.9 million in March to 7.4 million in April.

NBC Pounding YouTube Motherlovers
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Saturday Night Live fans were treated to a special Mother’s Day collaboration from pop star Justin Timberlake and resident viral video maven Andy Samberg. But if fans wanted to share that video with others, YouTube was not on NBC’s approved sharing list.

General Electric lawyers must have been very busy Sunday with DMCA takedown notices flying at YouTube and YouTube users so fast they must have developed some sort of script just for that purpose. As of today, what used to be uploads of “Motherlover” are now notices of deletion.

Hulu Starts Offering More International Content
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After a long period of focusing on American content, it looks like Hulu’s going global.  One fresh deal has netted the site shows from the UK, while another partnership will result in the sharing of Bollywood films.  Plus, movement in the opposite direction – Hulu allowing access overseas – is being discussed.

Hulu Now The Third Most Popular Video Site
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U.S. Internet users watched 14.5 billion online videos in March, representing an increase of 11 percent over February, according to comScore.

Google sites once again ranked as the most popular video property with 5.9 billion videos viewed (40.9 percent online video market share), with YouTube accounting for more than 99 percent of all videos viewed at the property.

Hulu Taps Rescue Me Star Denis Leary for Kentucky Derby Ad
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Hulu saw a nice jump in viewers after it ran its first television ad during the Super Bowl. That featured Alec Baldwin star of the show 30 Rock, which is available on Hulu.

Disney and Hulu Officially Get it Done
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Rumors have been swirling for about a month or so, but today the news is official. Disney and Hulu have entered a partnership that will see Disney content appearing on the increasingly popular online video site.

Hulu CEO Talks Advertising and the Hulu Formula

Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu delivered a keynote speech at ad:tech San Francisco. In the speech he discussed the state of advertising and of course his site Hulu, which has taken the online video world by storm.

Coverage of the ad:tech San Francisco conference continues at WebProNews Videos. Stay with WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.

Can YouTube Monetize the Hulu Way?
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Market research firm eMarketer has some interesting numbers looking at possible YouTube revenue. The firm pulls from a variety of sources to get a feel for just how the popular Google-owned video site is doing.

For starters, they refer to YouTube as the fifth most popular US web brand according to Nielsen, though March saw the site drop slightly to number 6.

Hitwise Names Top Hulu Search Terms
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YouTube, which of course receives far more traffic than Hulu, is doing just about everything in its power to ensure things stay that way.  Unfortunately for YouTube, stats from Hitwise seem to indicate that its new partnerships with CBS, Lionsgate, MGM, and Starz may not provide a lot of help. 

YouTube Finally Goes to the Next Level
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YouTube has finally announced after months of talks about deals with major media companies that they are now offering new sections on the site dedicated specifically to movies and television shows.

Partners include Crackle, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, Starz and many others, which contribute thousands of television show episodes and hundreds of films. They also bring the social element of YouTube along with them because users can still comment, favorite, and share the videos.

YouTube Still Dominating the Online Video Picture
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Nielsen Online has released online VideoCensus data for the month of March. YouTube not surprisingly, is still on top in both total streams and unique viewers.

The ranking of brands by total number of video streams goes like this:

1. YouTube (5,479,609)
2. Hulu (348,520)
3. Yahoo! (231,795)
4. Fox Interactive Media (207,528)
5. Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network (196,160)
6. ABC.com (176,931)
7. MSN/Windows Live (168,907)

YouTube is Going Through Changes
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There are some big changes happening with YouTube. You’ve probably read recently that YouTube has teamed up with Universal on a site called Vevo that is supposedly going to be the Hulu of music videos.

Hulu Improves Search Feature
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Hulu announced some improvements to its search functionality today. For one, they have added some shortcuts to the autocomplete feature.

Previously, the autocomplete suggestions would just take a user to the regular search results, but now, the shortcuts offer other options like going straight to the latest episode (for current shows), or the show page (for all shows).

YouTube to Get More Hulu-ish?
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Last week, YouTube made some changes to its home page, by altering the names of some video sections. YouTube Product Marketing Manager Curtis Lee said there were more changes coming soon, but did not elaborate on this.

Report: YouTube Attempting To Hijack Hulu-Disney Deal
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Late last week, we reported that the Walt Disney Company and Hulu were close to reaching a content-sharing arrangement.  It now looks like a little bit of a bidding war is occurring, though, as YouTube’s supposedly working on a Disney deal of its own. 

Rumor Pairs Hulu, Disney In New Partnership
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Hulu may be about to get huge.  A new rumor has the video-sharing site in negotiations with the Walt Disney Company, and if all goes well, it’s reasonable to expect that Hulu would gain access to content from popular average-viewer brands in addition to some kid-friendly stuff. 

Personnel Moves Foreshadow Future For Hulu, Twitter

It looks like Hulu and Twitter are growing up.  The first company has made a hire that signals a stronger-than-ever desire on its part to expand overseas, while the second has advertised openings for three different types of product managers.

Hulu Throws Doors Open To Documentaries

Documentaries don’t, on the whole, have a great reputation; they’re often seen as being dull and serving niche audiences.  But Hulu’s rounded up some amazing-sounding films to celebrate the launch of a new documentaries section within the site. 

Hulu Getting Stingy with Sharing Content
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Update 4: The Hulu/Boxee saga continues. Since the last update, Boxee has started a Twitter account dedicated to letting users know the status of Hulu on Boxee:

Is Hulu on Boxee - Twitter Account

Hulu Follows Proverbial Suit, Creates Social Network

hulu logoNielsen Online’s VideoCensus indicates that in February, 17-month-old Hulu grew to become the second most popular video site (after the behemoth YouTube)—so, Hulu, what are you going to do now?

Hulu Encourages Users To Be Social

Hulu’s got a lot working in its favor: good content, high-quality clips, and the whole it’s-actually-legal thing.  Now, both users and advertisers should be happy to hear that the video site is gaining a social component, too.