Web video site Hulu is still growing its viewership like crazy, but one analyst has slashed his estimates for the company’s 2009 ad sales.
Hulu attracted 34.7 million viewers in February, according to comScore, up about 50% from October. But “the advertising isn’t keeping up” with its rapid traffic growth, Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel tells BusinessWeek.
Amel now thinks Hulu will make $120 million in ad sales this year, down one third from his previous estimate of $180 million. Amel says Hulu is only filling about 60% of its ad inventory, filling the rest with public service announcements.
A Hulu rep admits to BusinessWeek that it’s hard to predict “future inventory accurately” with such rapid growth. “I don’t think that anyone can say they are impervious to the macroeconomic environment, but we’re still hugely optimistic about our ability to monetise the service,” Hulu spokeswoman Christina Lee told BusinessWeek.
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