Posted March 13, 2009 4:36 pm by with 10 comments

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hulu logoNielsen Online’s VideoCensus indicates that in February, 17-month-old Hulu grew to become the second most popular video site (after the behemoth YouTube)—so, Hulu, what are you going to do now? “We’re going to Disney World!” “We’re building a social network!”

It feels like a long time since we’ve been reporting on every search engine and funeral home opening a social network, but the trend is obviously far from over.

If the social network can bring them even more traffic, so much the better. Though their 309 million monthly video views have nothing on YouTube’s 5.2 billion, Hulu still stands to make a great profit from its current traffic. AdAge reports that television shows online command $40 to $50 per thousand viewers.

And Hulu admits that this is the thinking behind the social network:

“From an ad perspective, this is about bringing users to Hulu and having them spend more time on the service,” said J.P. Colaco, Hulu senior VP-sales.

The point here is to encourage users to spend time on Hulu itself, rather than third-party distributors such as Yahoo TV and Hulu gets a higher percentage of the gross advertising sold against viewers on Hulu (30%) vs. those watching Hulu on partner sites such as Comcast’s Fancast or TVGuide, which take a 10% cut. Community functions will also keep viewers around longer, and allow Hulu to show them more ads.

Go ahead and rag on Hulu for being concerned about money instead of fostering a community—but I, for one, applaud Colaco & co. Thank you for being honest and not sugarcoating this.

I think it’s a pretty good idea—visit any cable or network television website and look at their message boards to see that people do want to connect about their favorite shows. It doesn’t hurt that it is planned to help Hulu’s bottom line—because let’s face it, if online TV shows aren’t profitable, no matter how much people want them, they’re going to go away.

What do you think? Are you ready to socialize with your fellow Hulu viewers?

  • I like Hulu, but I don’t know if I iwill ever use their social network. Seems kind of odd – I am there to watch tv, not socialize.

    bryan’s last blog post..I Can’t Get No?Satisfaction!

  • I love Hulu, but I just dont see the need for another social media site.

    dion Roy’s last blog post..Amanda Dolan ?Heart Attack? Opening Reception Wrap Up

  • ‘taint nothing wrong with trying to devise a business model that supports itself (ie, make money). Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s last blog post..Perfect Pushups – The REAL story

  • That must be a great video site to have reached such a spectrum of an audience. I use TubeMogul for my videos, is this by chance included in the video site submissions at TubeMogul?

    I’ll bet it’ll generate more viewers in the future, time for me to create an account there too.

  • I never even knew they existed until the recent tv commercials. lol

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..Do You Charge For Blog Reviews?

  • I wish I could watch Hulu videos but unfortunately I am not in the US. However, I would prefer if Hulu stays as a TV programs site rather than social network because after all Hulu is about streaming TV programs legally online.

    Sarah’s last blog post..Get Your Title Right – The Power of Titles

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Sarah—oh, they’re not abandoning the TV programs, they’re just adding the network.

  • Hulu is awesome, but the social network might be a stretch. There are already so many social networking sites already out there to choose from, so this will be interesting to see. But again, they’re aliens so you never know!

    Khary’s last blog post..Unleashing The Power Of Web 2.0 On Your Network Marketing Campaign

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