Say hello to Hulu

I'll be curious to see how this whole Hulu venture pans out. The media companies are throwing a whole lot of different business models at the wall right now to see what sticks. This one sounds like it might actually have potential if they play their cards right.

Hulu is NBC and Fox's supposed "YouTube" killer - even though it doesn't actually include user-generated content (if anything it might eventually be more directly in competition with other premium content providers like Itunes rather than YouTube.) A lot of articles I've read today have slighted Hulu on the omission of user-generated video. But I think that's entirely the point. User-generated content has its place and is definitely here to stay. But long-form, quality content from studios and media companies isn't going anywhere either and still has broader appeal. They can choose to try to fight it out on YouTube side-by-side with people hand-farting the Flintstones themesong. Or they can take their content (and ad revenue) and try to setup their own shop. If content is king, they may be making the correct choice.

The Hulu site itself is still in beta and will likely remain that way for awhile. But its content is already starting to pop-up on partner sites like Yahoo, AOL, MySpace, etc. Pretty much all the usual suspects except Google/YouTube.

I'm still hoping we'll eventually get to the point where we can get ad-supported content for download to portable devices. But nobody seems quite ready to make that jump yet. I'm also eager to see if they can develop a Media Center plugin for this content. It would seem an ideal match.


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