Monday, June 9th, 2008...1:28 am
Awesome Website Bro: Hulu.com
I’ve been enjoying Hulu lately and it’s fast becoming one of my favorite ways to watch movies and television shows. This weekend I watched 28 Days Later (good but not as good as 28 Weeks Later) and I’ve been plowing through the first season of Arrested Development (genious). I could even get my Vinny Delpino fix if I so choose and watch 51 episodes of Doogie Howser, MD.
Hulu is an online video service that offers hit TV shows, movies and clips for free. The website was started as a partnership between NBC Universal and News Corp but it is operated independently of those companies. The simple version is that the networks were sick of websites like YouTube that published their content illegally. One way to combat this was to create a website that would cut licensing deals with all the major content providers (television networks, movie studios, independent producers). The content is free to users and hulu makes money through ads which it then shares with its content partners.
Hulu has a host of top notch partners and hence some awesome cotent. This includes most of Fox (Fox, Fox News, Fox Reality, Fox Movies, FX) and NBCU (Bravo, Universal Pictures, Oxygen). Besides traditional television and movie studios they also distribute some interesting web content from IGN, The Onion and Wine Library TV. If that’s not enough Hulu also had deals with the NBA, NHL and WWE. As the website grows I would expect even more content. Everything is very easy to search and makes you wish you could control your television with such ease.
The viewing experience is of good quality with a simple interface. It’s easy to jump around a show or find a specific scene. Full screen mode works very well and Hulu is beginning to stream shows in HD. Once this happens it will finally give me a reason to figure out how to hook my computer up to my big screen TV. The ads are certainly noticeable throughout the viewing experience but are not excessive. Unless your one of those advertising is brainwashing the world and leading to the apocalypse type of thinkers you shouldn’t mind the commercials. My guess is that Hulu will continue to expermient with ads to find what works best on the site.
Hulu has all the standard video features that allow you to share, embed, email, and pop out a show. It also provides tons of meta data and comments for each show. These are all ways in which video on the web is enhanced from more traditional television/movie watching.
When NBCU and Fox first announced this concept it was harshly maligned by the bloggers and techsters that have reveled in big media’s failures to innovate in digital media. Hulu, which is some kind of Chinese Proverb, wad dubbed Clown Co. in the blogosphere since so many people thought the site would be a farce. Here is a post from a top blog last September outlining numerous reasons why Hulu was screwed (even before it launched).
By spinning the company off and operating it as a startup Hulu is probably able to operate much quicker with less bureaucracy and process. It seems like they have nailed it so far. Like iTunes, Hulu has the opportunity to be in a position where people will come to the site because it is convenient, easy to use and enjoyable. Most importantly it will have all of the best video content in one place.
If you’ve yet to check out Hulu then give it a whirl. I’m positive you’ll find a show, clip or movie that you’ve been dying to watch.
Below I’ve embeddedGame 6 from the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. I could have embedded the entire game but instead have jumped to post-game handshake where you can get a glimpse of the eldest Litvack child on the ice (top right background).