Hulu 'To Catch YouTube' — Great, But So What?

from the rising-tide-etc-etc dept

The FT’s got a story saying “YouTube is in danger of being upstaged commercially” by Hulu, the online video site owned NBC and News Corp. It’s based on a report saying Hulu will make as much in advertising revenues as YouTube next year, about $180 million, despite having far fewer active users. Two points: first, is this really surprising given the strengths of Hulu’s parents at selling advertising around content; second, when did this become a zero-sum game? The article sets up some sort of adversarial relationship between Hulu and YouTube, or between professional and user-submitted content. While perhaps there’s some competition for advertising dollars — as there is between any two parties selling ad space — the two sites don’t have to succeed solely at the other’s expense. Despite what the likes of Andrew Keen would have us believe, there’s room enough on the web for both professional TV shows and amateur fat cat videos, and the success of one doesn’t intrinsically mean the failure of the other.

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Companies: google, nbc universal

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Comments on “Hulu 'To Catch YouTube' — Great, But So What?”

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hegemon13 says:

Hulu's success

Hulu is succeeding because the video quality is so much better that people are will to sit through a 30-second commercial every 20 mins or so to get it. Those commercials likely pay more because they are embedded in the content that the user is watching instead of somewhere else on the page.

I just wish there was a good way to watch Hulu on my TV. The day that someone comes up with an XBMC plugin for Hulu will be a happy day, indeed.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Hulu's success

Let me clarify: I want a good way to do it without spending a ton of money on another home theater peripheral (such as an HTPC). XBMC does everything else I want. However, lucky me, I found one today. PlayOn lets you stream Hulu and Netflix to XBMC. I will try it tonight, and if it works, I will be one happy original XBOX owner.

Hulu Fan (user link) says:

Re: Re: Hulu's success

I just upgraded my media pc to use the HDMI on the mother board and the HDMI port on my 42″ LCD. I get digital audio and video to my TV. I love it so much I am getting rid of my satellite service all together. I can get local HD channels through my digital antenna on my TV. and as for shows like man vs wild, Eureka, the home improvment shows, and all the other video content other than hulu. I actually owe Hule for freeing me from an unnecessary bill I had.

jonnyq says:

Re: Re: Re: Hulu's success

While I’m on the subject, last I checked, PlayOn didn’t read any HD content from Hulu, and it does read ALL the content available on CBS (part of this is CBS having a screwy website, and part is PlayOn being really dumb) so some shows are missing that should be there.

I’ll be glad when they figure out that Hulu really is the way to go and stop doing stupid things like waiting 2 weeks after the air date to post an episode (in which case, I’ll just torrent the episode sooner)

Anonymous Coward says:

Advertising Dollars are not an INFINITE RESOURCE

There is also room for more than one search engine, there is room for more than one web browser, there is room for more than one operating system, etc… What is your point? The fact is that there is a finitie amount of money spent on advertising. Hulu has created an attractive option for advertisers that will likely draw revenue AWAY from YouTube.

Maybe it’s time for Google to improve the quality on YouTube, especially for commercial content. And they should definately look into providing a solution that allows for sponsor supported ads to be integrated into the videos just like Hulu. Integrated ads are far more effective than ads on the sideline because that are not easily ignored.

Just Me says:

My 2 cents

“Integrated ads are far more effective than ads on the sideline because that are not easily ignored.”

Which is exactly why I wouldn’t go to Hulu if I could find the same video (even lower quality) on YouTube.
I sometimes watch videos from cable tv’s web sites on my TV (all you need is a vga cable on most TV’s if you don’t care about HD) but one of the biggest turn off’s is the damn ads they put in every 5-6 minutes.
I get that they need to make money, but when I pay for cabel, pay for high speed, have ads on their sites AND I have to watch their ads every few minutes and every time I try to rewind or fast forward that pisses me off.

Sure side bar ads can be ignored – that’s why I’ll chose YouTube over Hulu any day. Naturally I’m assuming Hulu will try and block there content from showing up on YouTube…good luck with that.

Mogilny says:

TV ads

It is inevitable TV is going to be on the web. This distribution method is effective but ad-adverse. My worry is that some day, studios and marketers are going to discover (if they haven’t already) that product placement is a perfect solution. Some people don’t mind product placement, but i have A.D.D. so they bother much.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m not opposed to ads if they’re effective, but non-intrusive. To say that any ad is intrusive is a bit selfish when we’re talking about free content. However, ads that are clearly overbearing, in your face, and force you to forget the show you’re watching in favor of remembering what you’re watching is being sponsored by, that’s when it gets out of hand.

My primary concern with Hulu is that it’s created and backed by an industry that clearly has a different agenda in mind than releasing its content for free. If they had their way, it’s clear they would want every single viewing to be paid for, along with shoving advertising down your throat, along with forcing you to purchase each new iteration of the content in a separate format, just because. That’s a clear abuse of their customer base, and it’s good to see that people are fighting back in some ways.

Hulu is disconcerting because it feels like they’re holding one foot in the pool while the other is safely standing on the edge and someone else has ahold of one arm reassuring content holders that they’ll never let go.

isemism says:


i use Hulu everyday. I don’t own a tv, so it is the best legal thing available to me. I was at a friends house recently and was watching some of the same stuff I watch at hulu, but on his cable tv. Ive got to say I feel spoiled that all i have is a few sparse 30 second ads when he has to see 8 – 10 minutes of ads for every half hour show.

nothing is ever free, but i’ll continue to deal with these “intrusive” ads, because its just better than spending money on cable.

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