Netflix still has a huge lead in the streaming wars, but Hulu’s smaller service has loyal users

One big difference between regular TV and streaming TV is that streaming TV is pretty murky when it comes to numbers: We don’t know much about how many people are watching streaming TV services, or what they’re watching.

So here’s a little bit of light, courtesy of a new report from comScore: A chart that shows us the relative popularity — and usage — for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and YouTube.

Most important caveat here: ComScore’s data, from December 2016, is measuring video streamed over Wi-Fi, at home, to TV sets. So it’s missing what’s happening on phones in and out of homes — which is a big deal — and what’s happening over wireless networks — a smaller deal.

Still, if we assume this data is at least directionally correct, it’s helpful.

We did know that Netflix is far and away the leader when it comes to streaming TV — the service says it has about 50 million subscribers. And comScore’s data syncs up with that, pegging the service’s penetration at about 40 percent of homes with Wi-Fi.

It is interesting, though, to see how far behind YouTube is when it comes to getting video to your TV. The world’s biggest video service gets to TV sets in less than 30 percent of the U.S., per comScore.

That may explain why YouTube is going to launch its own pay TV service — though YouTube has taken pains to describe YouTube TV as a “mobile first” offering.

And while Amazon and Hulu have been making a big push to build up their offerings, they’re still far behind. On the other hand, if you compare comScore’s data to earlier estimates from broadband services company Sandvine, they may be making progress. (Yet another caveat: Sandvine is measuring the amount of data those services push out; comScore is measuring how many homes they reach. So this is apples and oranges. Still, fruit.)

The other big takeaway: People who do use Netflix use it a lot — and so do people who use Hulu. Both services engage their users for more than 25 hours a month, comScore says.

Hulu Teams With Facebook’s LiveRail and Oracle to Sell Ads This Fall

difficult-people-hulu-hed-2015After emulating traditional, linear TV networks by returning to a weekly release schedule for its new series, Hulu is also following their lead when it comes to advertising.

The streaming-video service, owned by Fox, NBCUniversal and Disney, is partnering with Oracle Data Management Platform and Facebook-owned video-ad platform LiveRail to offer programmatic advertising options—automating the buying, placement and optimization of ads—for the first time.

The rollout will happen this fall and won’t be specifically tied to any of Hulu’s major fall premieres. (The Mindy Project debuts Sept. 15, new comedy Casual premieres Oct. 7 and RocketJump: The Show begins airing Oct. 21.)

“The marketplace has shown that data is overwhelmingly the new currency,” said Peter Naylor, svp advertising, Hulu, in a statement. “With this new offering, Hulu is at the forefront of defining ‘programmatic’ for the digital video ecosystem and will increase efficiency and ROI for marketers.”

The Oracle DMP will combine first-party and third-party data, which Hulu says will help it increase reach, scale and efficiency for marketers as they personalize their Hulu campaigns. And LiveRail’s Video Private Exchange will allow Hulu to complete direct deals with advertisers programmatically.

The news comes as Hulu is also prepping an ad-free option, which would reportedly launch this fall and be priced between $12 and $14 per month. That would be at least $4 more than Hulu’s current $7.99 monthly subscription free, which includes ads but fewer of them than Hulu’s free version.

Hulu still isn’t commenting on its ad-free plans. While advertisers undoubtedly won’t like being shut out of Hulu’s priciest tier, the streaming service hopes its new programmatic offering will help them get the biggest bang for their buck.