The News Corp-NBC backed professional video site with $100 million in private equity and valuation of over $1 billion is finally making its debut. The invitation-only beta testing for Hulu.com will commence in October. So, is this finally a perfect challenger to YouTube’s dominance?
Clash of content
Content is the key here, and content is what Hulu.com is promising to provide — professional quality content. In the words of Hulu.com CEO Jason Kilar, reported at RedHerring:
“Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building,” he wrote. “Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where, and how you want it.”
The roster of content partners for Hulu.com includes Time Warner’s AOL, Microsoft’s MSN, Yahoo, Comcast, and MySpace (the street).
Well, this is the big question. There are few aspects to the nature of this competition that accentuates the challenge that Google poses to other media companies. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has time and again reiterated that Google never planned to be a media company. And Yahoo’s slack performance in more recent times is proof for an Internet-based company’s inability to scale up to being a media success. But, here’s the catch: How much does it take for a media company to re-brand itself as an Internet firm?
It’s a fact that the number of viewers for online video are magnitudes more than those who post online content. So, the assurance of quality media that Hulu.com provides, coupled with the ease of an appealing interface, may hit YouTube hard. Now, suppose Hulu also bundles along an easy interface to upload videos?
Video portals are no longer a fad in this time of numerous video content sites. Will Hulu make a mark?