Posted March 11, 2008 5:05 pm by with 9 comments

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hulu logoAs 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?

  • PS3

    I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of Hulu before this post.

    My first experience wasn’t great. I tried to play the video on the homepage and got “this video is not available in your region”.

    Will try again when it launches on the 12th.

  • Looks like this site is about Simpsons and Family guy.

  • They need more shows. It’s a nice idea but there simply isn’t enough shows on there. The ones they have, they’re lacking episodes.

  • There are holes in their content, but it seems a bigger problem is the public perception presaging the launch. It can take a lot of money to overcome disgruntlement, and for a consortium of content providers to try and manage one identity only adds to the complexity…

  • They will succeed I guess. They need more advertising

  • Well I guess, there’s some crowdy situation about VOD on the web, added by the web live TV, which is a serious competitor of traditionnal TV. The war is on contents, not on technology, which is already there. And content of quality is no longer created by witch anymore (!), and rare thing today : how many blockbusters in a year by majors ?
    It’s going to be rough times…

  • Hulu needs way more material.

  • Not bad, but it could be more succeed…

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