Posted August 29, 2007 5:51 pm by with 16 comments

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The NBC/News Corp online video project–designed to rival YouTube–has finally received a name. As Jordan spotted, is now accepting beta invite requests.


Where in the world did they get the name “Hulu”? CEO Jason Kilar explains

Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. 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 (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where and how you want it.

While you can sign-up for the beta now, you won’t be able to get access until October.

So, what do you think of the name? Is it just me, or are companies starting to select company names based on what domain names are available–regardless of whether it has anything to do with the actual product (e.g.

Jordan’s Update: TechCrunch looked at what ‘hulu’ means (in languages where it’s a word). The best finding? In Swahili, it means ‘cease,’ and ‘desist.’ It also means ‘butt’ in Indonesian and Malay. Perfect.

  • “easy to pronounce,” for who?

  • for who… loo

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  • I think it’s a silly name and open to all sorts of ways of getting the mickey taken out of it.

    Question is, will it stick? We have a number of “silly” names which have become household names today.

  • I remember the times when Sony started up an online video project designed to rival YouTube – Grouper. YouTube still alive while Grouper now is Cracle with non-clear feature. Hulu is next one?

  • Personally, I think the “new” naming conventions are a misguided attempt to build and differentiate an online brand. It seems like they are creating extra work for themselves to elevate a completely new brand and build awareness.

    I think what some people fail to realize is that the content and user experience are the brand, not the company name or URL. I would much rather have a site with a boring URL but great content than a site with the most exciting URL imaginable but horrible content and UX.

  • We all thought that the Nintendo Wii was a pretty stupid name, too. If the service is good, it will catch on. If not, it won’t.

  • Yes but nothing is wrong with choosing a better name. Hey change it while it’s still alpha! On the other hand I’m not a big fan of YouTube, so any rival with any name is welcome.

  • Youtube has few rivals already: metacafe, dailymotion and so on.
    But i didn’t know for hulu. Thank you

  • StRiKeR

    Where can I find an invite? Who can send me one?

  • parrothead

    can someone please send me an invite if they have one available? thanks in advance

  • Any invites left?
    But i don’t think that hulu is a rival of youtube. Youtube is simpy better:)

  • just got an invite, looks pretty good

  • youtube in – hulu out 🙂

  • netghost

    Too late….

    Just another dream of the NBC Universal.

  • very nice topic thanxx