5min Rules The How-To Video Space

We recently wrote about the traction that how-to video site and producer Howcast is seeing online. But there’s another information and how-to video startup that is dominating the space: 5min. The company is a syndication platform for instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos, both professionally produced and user-generated. The service’s video library boasts 150,000 of videos across a variety of categories (e.g. food, health, home and garden ), submitted by media companies and independent producers from around the world.

December’s comScore data shows that 5min saw 30.5 million unique viewers, ranking just below Turner Networks (30.6 million unique viewers) and just above AOL (30 million unique viewers). Google saw 136 million unique viewers and Hulu saw 44.2 million unique viewers. 5min ranks as number 14 out of 100 properties in ComScore’s video metrix, according to unique viewers. In terms of videos streamed, 5min saw 75.4 million streams which pales in comparison to Hulu’s 1 billion video streams and Google’s 13.2 billion video streams for the month of December. If 5min was ranked by streams, it would most likely rank lower on the list, as AOL and other video properties had more streams than the startup (AOL saw 210 million streams).

Regardless, the data indicates that 5min, which has raised $12.8 million since its launch in 2006, is growing into the Hulu for niche content. The company has forged partnerships for branded content with Scripps, Hearst and other media companies. 5min monetizes each video with pre-roll ads, overlays, and companion banners and has a rev share with the content providers. Both publishers and advertisers who use the company’s self-serve VideoSeed product, which uses semantic technology to automatically match videos to their respective audiences. The site sees its biggest competitor as the leader in niche content, Demand Media. While most of the startup’s traffic is from the U.S., 5min hope to expand its international presence through partnerships. And 5min expects to be cash-flow positive this year.