Hulu Realizes That YouTube's Audience Matters; Puts Its Own Videos Back On YouTube

from the didn't-see-that-coming dept

We’ve covered the bizarre love/hate affair that NBC Universal has had with YouTube. It actually helped get YouTube its first burst of serious publicity in demanding the SNL “Lazy Sunday” clip be taken down off the site. It then went back (setting up its own YouTube channel) and forth (blaming YouTube for company problems) on whether or not it liked YouTube, before eventually announcing its own competing offering (in partnership with News Corp.) called Hulu. Soon after doing so, it pulled the official NBC channel on YouTube, which made little sense. Even if Hulu were fantastic, the actual eyeballs were at YouTube. It had built up a huge community. NBC Universal was making the classic content owner’s mistake of overvaluing the content, and undervaluing the platform. It figured that if it hosted the content itself, the crowds would come.

Apparently, that’s not what has happened. While Hulu surprised many critics with a well-designed site, it appears that Hulu hasn’t been able to generate the type of traffic executives expected. So, despite it being a YouTube competitor, Hulu has tucked its tail between its legs and set up its own channel on YouTube. Apparently, the “build it and they will come” philosophy of NBC Universal’s execs didn’t work quite as well as planned.

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Companies: google, hulu, nbc universal, youtube

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Comments on “Hulu Realizes That YouTube's Audience Matters; Puts Its Own Videos Back On YouTube”

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Rob says:


Hulu is actually pretty amazing, but for far different reasons than YouTube. I’m pretty sure that most people still just watch TV on (GASP) a TV – Plus NBC pisses me off with how slow they are sometimes with new episodes online… so for now I just use Hulu as my TV backup.

If all Hulu content was available on YouTube, I wouldn’t have to leave one site, it would be grand.

Eric the Grey says:

I like Hulu

However, there isn’t much there that I watch. Most of my TV watching comes from the Scifi network.

My GF was telling me yesterday that she was happy to have found House episodes on Youtube since her TV has died recently and she cannot keep up with her shows. It’s given her a way to keep up, somewhat.

I didn’t know Hulu was out of beta. I’ll have to let her know.


Iron Chef says:

Multi-tiered content distribution strategy?

A co-worker recently told me about this show “Psych”. The character of Shawn is awesome! I think it’s going to be the next great show next season. If you haven’t seen it, check out whole episodes at USA Network (owned by NBC).

Yes, ads are surely necessary to cover bandwidth and distribution costs. But has a multi-tiered distribution strategy been hammered out by NBC yet? It’s tough to watch TV when your on a computer multitasking- doing email, etc. I’d like to play the content on a uni-tasker- a media playing device. An iPod, perhaps?

kiki jones (user link) says:

Who owns what?

Just because youtube owns eyeballs today doesn’t mean that they’ll own that audience forever. Anyone remember when Yahoo had 80% of the search market? Google’s in the weird position of having their primary product (search) be exactly the reason that one of their secondary products (video content channel) will fail in the future. Tools for publishing content always get easier and more distributed. Heck, I’m taking primarily website content and republishing the info as video for small business advertising— and I do it using the client site so there is no channel.

Brandon says:


There are so many things I could name about Hulu that I love, from the seamless streaming with great video and audio quality, to the ability to embed everything, even entire movies, onto another website (though who wants to watch a 2 hour movie in a little box on a blog?). But the biggest reason I think Hulu hasn’t taken off is that there is a major lack of episodes of recent or current TV shows. Popular shows on their like The Office, 30 Rock, and The Simpsons only have the 4 or 5 most recent episodes available. Plus for other shows they may have an entire season available but somehow are missing 3 or 4 random episodes. There is a large number of movies available but again, about 75% of bad movies that you’ve never heard of. And none of them seem to be less than 5 years old.

I’ll still give Hulu a chance for a bit longer. It’s nice to watch some old TV shows that aren’t on DVD. And the video quality is so much better than anything YouTube offers. But hopefully the content gets a major upgrade soon!

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