Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hulu In the News

Today's Hulu News Digest

Four entries today.

First, Mediaweek talks about how Hulu and other outlets are giving viewership boosts to many shows-- Nielsen is going to have to work hard to make sure their household name continue to be relevant.

Then CBS News talks about another Hulu-clone, this one in Britain (where Hulu can't currently broadcast). The article speculates that Hulu will one day be battling for international rights to their programming.

In the third article, the political nerds over at Slashdot give Hulu kudos (Hudos?) for its role in providing the Presidential Debates to the online masses.

Finally, E-Commerce Times speculates that web video providers in general are getting it wrong. They only cite Hulu tangentially, but it's an interesting look at the broader landscape in which Hulu operates.

NBC Getting Audience Boost from Online Outlets
NBC, the most ratings-challenged among broadcast networks of a live, prime-time viewing audience so far this season, is getting a boost in viewership for several of its programs. This is coming from Internet streaming videos, and to a lesser extent, VOD and mobile viewing, according to Total Audience Measure Index (TAMi) data released by the network.

The show benefiting the most from viewership via media platforms other than TV is The Office, which through its first two episodes was downloaded 52,163 times via iTunes, Microsoft and Amazon and viewed by 48,879 mobile users; and had a total of 8.7 million Internet video streams. Six streams of a particular episode equal one show viewed, but those 8.7 million streams also include one-for-one episodes viewed on
UK to launch Hulu-clone named Kangaroo
The UK's upcoming Hulu equivalent codenamed Kangaroo will offer US TV shows and movies, despite being formed by three British public broadcasters. CEO Ashley Highfield, in a Mipcom panel, revealed he has been in "back-to-back meetings with US studios" here in Cannes this week: "We hope to acquire US TV and make it a compelling movie offering as well."

So Kangaroo's content library is growing significantly beyond founders BBC Worldwide, ITV (LSE: ITV) and Channel 4, even before it's allowed to launch - an antitrust inquiry in to the project has put the brakes on and is due to report by February 6. These other deals Highfield's striking are informal, lest Kangaroo rile the Competition Commission. Couple the UK JV's foreign ambitions with a Hulu that's likely to go international at some point, too, and we may yet see these two VOD platforms, once limited to their domestic markets, duke it out in strange overseas markets.
Hulu leads the way for online live viewership of presidential debates
"For those of us that no longer have a television, live TV events can be a challenge to watch. Fortunately, tonight's Presidential Debate has attracted the attention of most US broadcasters, many of whom will provide online viewing options. Leading the way is Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp, who will stream the Fox-branded feed tonight — assuming they worked out the bandwidth issues that came up during the second debate!"
Are web video providers on the wrong track?

In the age of online entertainment, consumers get virtually unlimited choice of content and the means to entertain themselves. They can stream their favorite episode of "Lost" from, watch full-length movies on Hulu, or download episodes of shows like "The Office" from NBCDirect, and they can do it all for free.
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