Hulu.com to Launch—But Will They Succeed?
As we mentioned earlier today, video site Hulu is preparing for the big time. First launched in private beta in October, Hulu has long been panned. Even the CEO of Hulu set us up for disappointment and even failure.
Now, however, reports are already coming in that Hulu is actually really good—great, even. But the reports are usually accompanied by caveats explaining why Hulu has a small chance of ultimately succeeding.
paidContent’s Staci Kramer writes about a reasonably good experience on the site, but addresses the difficulties Hulu will face in scaling and distribution issues:
Hulu’s insist[s] on having the [distribution] partners use its [Hulu’s] own player instead of theirs combined with the low revenue sharing.
On the plus side, however, Hulu announced new partnerships:
Warner Bros. Television Group; Lionsgate, providing a much-needed boost to the sparse movie library; NBA and NHL highlights/clips; and, as March Madness nears, a quarter-century of full-length NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship and “more than 20 other top content providers.” That last group includes Prom Queen and Onion News Network.
Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget similarly touts the quality of the product, but his concerns are mostly over their business model:
In short: it’s still too dependent on a handful of content partners, it bears most of the costs of streaming videos while its partners take most of the revenue, and its content partners are also its primary shareholders, which creates a major conflict of interest.
Naturally, we’ve all seen good products fail for any or all of these reasons. What do you think it would take for Hulu to overcome these problems?