After several months of Beta testing , the News Corp.-NBC promoted video site Hulu.com is opening to the public. How big a challenge will it be to YouTube's near monopoly?
Hulu.com CEO Jason Kilar says:'Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we're building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our never ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world's premier content when, where and how you want it.'
The emphasis here is on content and Hulu.com has tied up with the best known names in the business like Time Warner's AOL, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Comcast etc. to bring it to the viewers. It promises hit shows like The Simpsons, The Office, television series like Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer etc. and also movies, clips and other content.Should YouTube be worried about Hulu.com? It's too early to say.Presently Hulu.com has only about 5 million registered users to YouTube's almost 80 million.Just as Google, an internet based company has been trying to scale up into a media company, here we have a media company re-branding itself as an internet firm. The reason is obvious. It won't be long before online advertising revenue overtakes all other kinds of advertising revenue, maybe put together.What could trouble YouTube is the fact that the number of viewers for online videos is several times larger than the number of people who post online content.Hulu.com provides the assurance of a wide variety of studio quality media for free.It relies on its vast library of copyrighted content for the purpose.If Hulu also provides an easy interface to upload videos, YouTube could well be having a problem.