Hulu is the newly proposed “Youtube killer” from NBC Universal and News Corporations joint venture.
Hulu is an invite only beta which I had the opportunity to test….Only 580 invites left and counting, according to OM only 2500 invites were up for grabs. The Hulu site is no joke in terms of weighing in on the video scene. The site raised $100 million in financing from Providence Equity Partners, well above other Youtube copycat sites. Not a surprising first round with Youtube securing a purchase price of $1.6 billion by Google and major players like NBC and News Corp that have built-in content and built-in audiences– probably not a bad bet for Providence Equity Partners. Makes you wonder if the mob is affiliated with web 2.0 these days (just kidding, I have a buddy from Federal Hill, RI).
Back to the invite beta only that I experienced. I truly thought the user interface rocked the house, more friendly and more intuitive than Youtube. All the ajax and jquery bells and whistles were associated with the site. Besides an interface work-over that is better than Youtube, Hulu can truly offer a competitive advantage with premium content that can be subsidized by large advertisers similar to a 30-second spot on the traditional NBC network. Family guy, Simpsons, Las Vegas, on and on the content kept coming. This type of content is usually covered by my wonderful DVR, but seeing how I had an DVR meltdown (issued box by Comcast) I thought Hulu really filled a gap in my content viewing lifestyle. First of all my iPod couldn’t obtain any of the missed shows because of an NBC and iTunes fallout, so NBC and News Corp have clearly picked up the content ball here with Hulu on the Internet. Youtube competitor (maybe), but I’m more likely to say Hulu fills a consumer need of that of a DVR and Tivo. Content your way right away when you want it. Youtube continues to comprise of a plethora of amateur videos that is a launching board for Google consumer video search.
I Hope you all can catch the last 100 invites by the time you read this blog post. As an insider the private invite beta email from Hulu will read as follows:
Upon signing in with your temporary login and password you will be
prompted to choose a permanent login and password. This will provide
access for one individual to the Hulu.com beta. For now, videos are
available for streaming from the U.S. only. That said, our intention
is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide in the
This private beta period is our chance to gather real user feedback
and refine the user experience, so let us know not only what you like,
but also what you think we could be doing better. There is a feedback
button located to the left of every video screen. By clicking on the
feedback button, you will open up a feedback form where you can easily
provide a suggestion or comment. You also have the option of sending
your feedback directly to email@example.com.
The team will be reading these messages every day and we hope to
address your feedback as soon as possible. Over the course of this
preview, we will be adding more content and updating features, so please
check back often.
We hope you enjoy the Hulu service and look forward to hearing from you,
The Hulu team