I know this is big news to you guys, but Naruto might just be the biggest brand in the North American otakuverse. MIGHT! I'm not positive. Yes, I'm totally being sarcastic. Okay, I'm done. Wait, wait...no, okay, done.
But snark aside, Naruto is doing impressively well even up against other mainstream titles on sites like Hulu and Joost. ICv2 reports that Naruto is the 20th most popular show on Hulu, which also airs such huge hits as Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad, The Daily Show, House, Bones-- you know, all those shows that your parents have actually heard of. Or at least don't respond to with “is that another one of those annie-mays?”
And then there's Joost, which is a bit smaller since it wasn't, y'know, built by a bunch of TV studios-- but on this smaller site, Naruto Shippuden is #1, and Naruto not-Shippuden is #2. Not bad, eh?
ICv2's report doesn't offer up information on how many people are tuning into the Naruto episodes, but there are some stats on overall Internet video viewers: about 146 million viewers in the US watched 12.7 billion videos in November of 2008. Yeah, that's in a month. That's pretty amazing, even if approximately 9 billion of those were videos of adorable kittens doing cute and/or silly things. (That's my estimate, anyway.)
If you're one of the online Naruto watchers, where do you tune in? Crunchyroll? Hulu? Joost? VIZ's Naruto.com? Elsewhere (tsk!)?