Friday, August 31, 2007

News Corp and NBC Universal Announce: Hulu.

News Corp and NBC Universal have annouced their new online video portal: Hulu.

Hulu will be distributing professional content from television networks and film studios on their own embeddable branded player.

I have enjoyed the option of going to the ABC website to watch episodes of "Lost" in order to keep current, so I can see how Hulu would be a valuable service. I missed the whole "Heroes" phenomenon, so I might use a service like Hulu to catch up and then start watching the shows on television when the Fall season resumes.

Providence Equity Partners obviously sees the potential, because Hulu raised $100 million in financing from them.

Hulu will not be competing directly with YouTube for user-generated content distribution. Indeed, a service like Hulu might accelerate the networks' fight against having its content on YouTube. But while the content may be coming from vastly different sources, YouTube and Hulu are obvious indicators that the internet is a significant distribution channel for video.

The time seems close when the long-predicted "convergence" happens and the line between television and the internet is erased; the living room is adorned with a flat screen monitor, a broadband connection bring in a digital IPTV signal, and people surf the web to access video content on demand.

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