Hulu, the online video joint venture of News Corp and General Electric’s NBC Universal, is making it’s public debut on Wednesday.
Hulu is an advertising-supported online video service that offers full length, high-quality shows and programming from major media providers. Although framed in the press as big media’s “YouTube-killer,” Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar, a former Amazon.com executive, said at that time that the site aims to make it the premier destination for full length shows and movies. This kind of content was already available on the internet on various sites or Apple’s iTunes service, but this is the first time somebody thought of the idea to offer all this shows for free in exchange of just viewing advertisments on the site.
We announced the test launch of the service more the 4 months ago but since than much has happened. In getting ready for the public release, Hulu has added programming from Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros Television Group, Lionsgate and from sports leagues.
At launch, Hulu will offer full-length episodes of more than 250 TV series from current hits such as “The Simpsons” as well as older shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” It also will offer 100 movies including “The Big Lebowski” and “Mulholland Drive.”
With no marketing and a private test pool of users, Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar said they have attracted over five million viewers in the past month with its breadth of legally available contemporary shows and clean design.
Hulu promises to be a popular service not just for viewers but also for advertisers, as it offers wide range of options for displaying advertisments. Among the range of new advertising options, Hulu said that Nissan, for example, can give Hulu viewers the option to choose to watch any one of its several car ads.
At the time this article was being written, Hulu.com was temporarily down for maintenance “as we prepare to open up to the public”. We’re all eagerly awaiting for the service to go online so we can watch the probably-first online, browser-based television station.