Nielsen 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!”
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 TVGuide.com. 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?