Hulu – The licensed content answer to YouTube

My co-worker and all around expert on all things new media Ben Koo turned me on to Hulu the other day. So, far, I really like what I see, from a number of angles.

First, the design and look is pretty cool, less clunky than YouTube and it just as easily embeds itself into other media. Easily searchable and catalogued video as well.  Here’s a screen shot:

hulu

Also, the content is great, mainly becuase it is licensed TV shows, movies etc. from the media producers like Fox. This means you are actually getting top quality video, not some clip that someone made of them videotaping their TV screen bootleg style.

I think this is a great way for the studios and networks to do battle on the web front. Hulu has the potential to become a destination and I think by aggregating the content – not simply having each studio or network create an online destination – the consumer wins as well, and the experience is optimal.

I am waiting on the “social” angle here – there is some rating system, and other stuff, but I am not sure this is really necessary.I mean, what do people really want?  Access to premium content online – for free. And here it is.

Some may say that the monetization strategies are a negative. I disagree. I think anyone will sit through a trailor for a new movie in order to get a full length movie for free online.

The catalog is limited, for sure, but overall, I think Hulu has serious potential. We are really in the midst of some interesting changes. I think the technology has been here for a while to enable a new method of sales and marketing, and now companies are starting to embrace these channels and understand that the old models do not work as effectively online. From freemium models, to sites like Hulu, to artists auctioning their songs and works ebay-style – it is a new era, and I like it so far…

Now, if only iTunes would let me get free downloads by listening to a few free ads…