Hulu goes live

October 29, 2021

The long-awaited and much-derided NBC (GE) and News Corp (NWS) joint venture Hulu will make a somewhat public debut this week, opening up a private beta tonight of its web video service and initiating distribution of its movies, TV shows, and mashups on AOL (TWX), Comcast (CMCSA), MSN (MSFT), MySpace, and Yahoo (YHOO).

The company also cut some last-minute deals over the weekend, adding Sony television shows only at Hulu.com and MGM TV shows and movies throughout its distribution network.

Hulu viewers are given the tools to embed full-length episodes and movies wherever they want around the web. New shows are added at midnight Hawaii time on the day after they air.

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said Hulu would use 25 percent as much advertising as broadcast norms, and promised it wouldn’t employ the annoying trick of jamming up commercial volume to get us to pay attention. For distribution partners such as Comcast, Yahoo, and AOL, Hulu has remade its Flash player to look like theirs. Hulu serves advertising in and around a video and shares revenue with content providers, Hulu, and distribution partners in that order (here’s what sounds like a reasonable description of the breakdown).

Beta testers will not be given additional invites; the way to register is through the official Hulu site. So what should we think of Hulu? It’s not really a media company. Kilar, true to his roots in the tech industry at Amazon.com (AMZN), likes most of all to talk about the Web site’s clarity and lack of clutter. Kilar declined to comment on NBC content being pulled from YouTube in advance of the Hulu launch.

Via NewTeeVee

Update:

Kara from AllThingsDigital just posted a good review.  Go read it to learn more.

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