Ok, so ABC doesn’t include the “not counting Hulu” part in their press release.  But while this data does include viewing on Fox.com and NBC.com, it does not include Hulu.  Which, we think, is a pretty big deal, but it’s not ABC’s fault.  Hulu and Nielsen Video Census need to work things out so that it gets counted, otherwise this information, at least in terms of the RANKINGS isn’t worth much.  But, the data outside of the rankings is still data.

For instance, I think there is value in the unique viewer metrics.  The number of streams by themselves however is also pretty worthless, at least in terms of trying to compare it with the Nielsen numbers for television.  When we report data it is typically average audience.  If that lists 10 million viewers for an hour long show, that’s 600 million minutes.    In truth those numbers do not tell you how many people actually watched, but they do measure total engagement which is a good thing.

These numbers do not measure total engagement, and that is unfortunate for us data junkies.  And its worse, because it’s apples-to-oranges rather than apples-to-pears in terms of the comparisons because the data is further convoluted.  ABC notes that Lost had 35.8 million total streams.  But they could’ve been for a minute each — and it’s not for one episode, but ANY and ALL episodes of Lost, plus any and all clips of Lost.

And something about the data doesn’t seem quite right to me.  ABC claims lost had 1.4 million unique viewers of its full episodes and clips, but it says it had 35.8 million streams which would result in an averge of 25 .6 streams per unique visitor.   That seems very, very high to me.   I’ll see what I can find out, but in the meanwhile, here is the press release from ABC based on the Nielsen Online VideoCensus for March:



In March 2009, ABC.com Site Once Again Dominates

Broadcast Competition for Online Video Viewing

According to the latest data from Nielsen VideoCensus for March 2009, ABC.com continued to deliver the most viewed series online in terms of unique viewers. For the second month in a row, ABC’s site had 9 out of the top 10 series viewed on broadcast sites. “Dancing with the Stars” took the #1 spot in March with 3 million unique viewers, up 93% over the previous month.

Viewing of full episodes and short-form content from “Lost” (1.4 million unique viewers), “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.2 million unique viewers), “Better Off Ted” (1.2 million unique viewers), “The Bachelor” (1 million unique viewers), “In the Motherhood” (986,000 unique viewers), “Desperate Housewives” (903,000 unique viewers ), “Ugly Betty” (780,000 unique viewers) and “Castle” (650,000 unique viewers) ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th respectively.

“Lost” again ranked #1 in total streams, with 35.8 million, followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” with 19.7 million total streams and “Dancing with the Stars” with 19.6 million streams.

ABC.com’s Full Episode Player delivers a high-quality viewing experience to users and premium to advertisers, attracting a young, highly educated and loyal audience. Season to date, over 120 million episodes have been initiated through the ABC.com Full Episode Player. Last fall, ABC.com launched a new short-form video player, which allows users to embed videos throughout the web, including their own blogs and third-party social networking sites. The ABC.com short form player is home to over 2000 pieces of content including original webisodes, exclusive sneak peeks and interviews with the stars of ABC’s most popular series, as well as ABC.com’s original daily online series “Start Now.” ABC.com is available anytime, anywhere on mobile devices at m.abc.com.

Source: Nielsen Online, VideoCensus, March 2009

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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