Hulu video site goes live tomorrow

March 11, 2021

News Corp. and NBC Universal’s online vid service Hulu is set to tear off the wrapping paper Wednesday, officially launching with content from several new partners, including Warner Bros. TV Group and Lionsgate.

That quadruples the previous amount of content offered, said Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, although the site has yet to seal deals with several more producers — most notably, Disney/ABC, CBS and “American Idol” producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment.

Hulu already offers programs such as “The Office,” “The Simpsons” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

“People will be very surprised at the content being made available on a free, ad-supported basis,” Kilar said.

Besides parent concerns News Corp. and NBC U, charter Hulu program suppliers have included MGM and Sony Pictures TV.

“The response from users has been extremely dramatic,” Kilar said. Meanwhile, Hulu said all its beta advertisers have agreed to renew their deals with the site. Hulu advertisers include Unilever, State Farm, Best Buy, DirecTV and Nissan.

As part of the launch, Hulu will introduce two advertising formats. Company also shares ad revenue with program suppliers on a show-by-show basis. Hulu provides ad sales in most cases, but the content providers on some shows sell their own spots.

On the programming front, Hulu will offer movies unedited for content; users will have to register and verify their age before watching movies rated PG-13 or above.

Kilar said he expects to continue to grow the Hulu library without phasing out current titles. Sci-fi programming rules the roost at Hulu, although popular programming on the site varies dramatically. Hulu’s heavy reliance on library content remains its biggest limitation.


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