Frankly, NBC is just all over the map online. They’ve declined to renew their iTunes contract, started offering their shows on Amazon, and offered free show downloads from NBC Direct. They’ve hyped Hulu, their YouTube killer, and then said they’re ready to fail with it. They’ve attacked Google and YouTube on copyright infringement issues—while maintaining a content partnership with the company.
Well, that last contradiction is no more, according to several reports earlier this week. After 16 months, NBC has reneged on its agreement for a channel on YouTube in favor of Hulu, due into private beta this month (T-minus seven days, guys!).
Meanwhile, CNET’s Don Reisinger offers encouraging words on Hulu’s prospects:
There is no chance Hulu will ever become a success. And the reason is quite simple: It is being produced by two companies that have no idea what consumers want and are utterly unaware of how the Internet works. Even worse, neither of those companies knows what Web 2.0 is all about.
I give Hulu one year.
Ouch. Reisinger makes a good point, however: is it really wise to pull your content from the most popular video site online to put it on your own untested, unproven and apparently behind-schedule video site? On the Internet, you have to go where the people are—it’s not an ‘if you build it, they will come’ world anymore.
So good luck with this one, NBC.