Thursday, March 13, 2008 by , under , , , ,

As you probably read all over the interwebs, yesterday was the official launch (read: getting out of beta) for United States of America-only content provider

Never heard of Here's a short debrief:

First, is the joint venture of NBC and NewsCorp.
Second, has come to terms with major partners such as AOL, Warner and ABC to deliver sitcoms, movies and other screen favorites for FREE on your 'puter.

This means you can now watch past Lost episodes, those Saturday Night Live skits you love or movies like Ice Age or Me, Myself and Irene for zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. No cost.
Provided you live within the United States of America. Because no other country can have access to its content for now. "Anywhere, Anytime" is Hulu's slogan. Sorry, not for now.
It's all advertising supported. I can only begin to wonder about the cost of placing an ad in All I can hope for is that they'll find ways to make it cheaper than TV, but I wouldn't hold my breath -- especially when you can drop the useless GRP measurements for precise stats on user visits, shows watched and interactive content.

Let me tell you this, friends: this is the beginning of a new era. Google called the company Clown Co. for months before it was launched, because had no name. But they are being jealous. Because Hulu is going to steal away a huge chunk out of YouTube.
Because Hulu is going to steal away a huge chunk out of TV, period.

Hulu is a menace to cable TV worldwide. A well-thought of, full of potential menace. Yes, that good of a menace. Over the past month during beta, Hulu reports that its videos have been streamed over 5 million times. All the content is professionally produced. Friends, this is no clone of YouTube. This is serious distribution business.

Our canadian CRTC will be quick to not let make its contents accessible to Canada, because if they do, canadian TV will receive a kick in the nads like they never did before.

But at the same time, Hulu is also a wake-up call: TV viewership is knowing a steady decrease, and TV advertising is losing efficiency in favor of e-marketing. TV has lots its power to convince, entertain or educate. The Internet doesn't try to convince you, or push its content. It lets you come. It lets you get a second, third or fourth opinion on information. From people like you. It lets you be in control of what you like to see, hear, do. And it lets you speak out.
And all of this is like gold to modern-thinking TV producers, because now they have better feedback from viewers, a new place to distribute and even produce content that is likely to please diverse yet precise communities, and not just mr. and mrs. mass audience. With, they have a powerful, selective outlet to engage dialogue with viewer communities.
If you ask me, in the years to come, YouTube will be like this nice add-on widget to have on Hulu.
I say Hulu is the next big thing. Everyone can laugh at the badly-thought distribution scheme for an Internet content provider. Everyone can blame the fact that they do not yet have full-length shows. You can bitch about this killing the DVD / Blu-Ray industry (although they were careful in not showing full seasons as to not cannibalize the DVD industry). You can rant about the big nasty giant networks invading the Internets.
But eventually, when the technology is uber-right, we all know how these big giant networks will just crunch the numbers and say how cost-efficient it is, how wonderfully tasty it is to produce and distribute only streaming HD content. And there will it be: TV and Internet merge into this nice, slick flatscreen device on your wall. You'll have a remote control with a keyboard and joystick on it. And you will be subscribed to Hulu Digital Network Service Worldwide Inc.
I said it first.

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3 Reply to ""

Anonymous on 10:56 am

"The Internet doesn't try to convince you, or push its content."

That's absurd. Every tin can commentator on the Internet is trying to tell you what to think. Just go to youtube and look at all the propaganda spewed by people telling you they are experts in immunizations for instance. Never mind that none of them are Doctors or Scientists.

"Don't believe everything you see" is the only way to protect yourself from charlatans - be they TV or Internet based.


David Claude on 6:20 pm

You have to distinguish content from media. My point was more about the media itself, rather than what messages are being said.
Internet as a media isn't a "push" media, it's a "pull" media. You start with a blank page and decide where you want to go. TV feeds you content and decides what you watch, short of flipping through channels. While there can be "nothing on TV tonite", there can never be "Nothing on the net tonite". Because you have this power to choose.

"Don't believe everything you see" is right, but what's more, Internet as a media allows you to make your own opinion. You have the possibility to get a second opinion about any content from any website if you perform a deeper search on the matter. You can choose what to believe and make informed choices - you are not force-fed.

Where TV pushes content, Internet pulls users. There's a huge difference involved.


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