Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

April Video Winners: Hulu, of Course. And… MTV?

eminem-videoHere’s an online video story you haven’t seen before: Viacom’s MTV sites had a really good month last month.

This news comes from Nielsen Online, which just released its video traffic numbers for April. The top line is more or less unchanged. Google’s (GOOG) YouTube dominates the field, generating more video traffic than the next nine biggest sites on the Web combined.

And of course, Hulu, the joint venture between News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox and GE’s (GE) NBC is continuing its rocket ride. The No. 2 site saw streams increase 7.1 percent over the previous month and 490.4 percent compared with a year ago (though bear in mind that April 2008 was Hulu’s first full month out of beta).

None of which is surprising. One thing I didn’t expect: MTV grew faster than anyone else in the Top 10 last month. The site posted a 15.7 percent increase in month-to-month traffic–in a month when overall video usage actually declined 2.3 percent compared with the previous month.

Here’s the full breakdown (click table to enlarge):


Bonus data point: Nielsen breaks out Web traffic by brand, not by corporate owner. But cobble together MTV’s video traffic with corporate cousin Nickelodeon’s, and parent company Viacom (VIA)  gets a total of 319.7 million video streams in April. That’s enough to qualify for third place, and not that far behind No. 2 Hulu’s 373.3 million.

Not bad for a company that spent a long time frittering away what should have been a very big lead in Web video. And perhaps promising for Vevo, the YouTube/Universal Music site launching later this year.

Usually when a company has a banner month–or even a passable one–according to Nielsen or Comscore (SCOR), I get barraged with celebratory press releases. Nothing from Viacom to date, though I’ve asked the company for comment.

Anyone else want to explain why MTV’s sites spiked in April? In the meantime, here’s MTV’s version of the newish Eminem video: