NBC / News Corp Reveal Hulu.com

Posted: August 30, 2007 in Content, Digital Entertainment, Digital Video, The Marketing Industry

 The long anticipated joint video site venture between NBCU and News Corp has finally been named – Hulu.com. The site will offer full length movies, episodes of TV programs and other content from both companies, and represents an interesting situation for YouTube. Some are even referring to it as the “YouTube killer”. We’ll see.

Consumers can sign up for the beta now, but won’t actually be able to access any content until October.

Execs chime in on the reason behind ‘Hulu.com’: “Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where and how you want it.”

What Does Hulu.com Mean for YouTube? Only time will tell. But I can’t imagine that the existence of an ‘official’ online channel to distribute content from the two companies will bode well for YouTube on many levels.  The investment in these channels by the content owners must weaken the legal position of YouTube, which seems to be in a never ending legal battle to maintain their stronghold as masters of the online video universe (good thing that Google can cover the legal bills!). The increased fragmentation of online video consumption that will result from the launch of the Hulu’s of the world will also weaken YouTube’s positioning to advertisers. Hulu.com itself is not a YouTube killer, but the trend it may start among content owners may over time relegate YouTube to consumer generated and independent content only.

Online companies and brands are built and embraced faster than any in marketing history. YouTube went from and idea to a blockbuster in a very short period of time. Can it fall from grace equally as quickly?

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