Hulu Launches Free Internet Television Service

Mar 11th, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, Streaming Video, Video

Hulu LogoInternet video site Hulu launches today, offering full-length episodes of more than 250 TV series, including Lost and The Simpsons, along with older hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In addition, Hulu will feature content from the Warner Bros Television Group, Lionsgate and from sports leagues.

According to the company, it has already attracted over five million viewers interested in catching up with long-form video online. With its library of older content, the site provides viewers a way for digging into the “long-tail” of television programming.

Even more important to the site’s long-term success is the fact that it launches with a mature advertising platform in place, and advertisers lined up to use it.

I’m still skeptical about Hulu’s ad implementation and navigation. The site’s top level navigation doesn’t give you any idea of the range of content hidden on the site, and browsing is equally clunky, with relies too much on Flash.

Hulu’s ad implementation is equally clunky – showing you long, poorly targeted ads and forcing you to grab a mouse and click to continue watching the show.

The site does a great job delivering the shows, though. I caught up with much of season 3 of Lost via the site, and the video has the best I’ve seen for streaming HD. This, along with the fact that it’s lined up an impressive range of content, should give the site a chance at taking on YouTube.

More at NewTeeVee, NYT

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No Responses to “Hulu Launches Free Internet Television Service”

  1. Jcyreus says:

    HULU is either going to be huge through the funding of major broadcast TV networks behind them (FOX & NBC) as well as their all-star dev team, or the service will be crushed under a bureaucracy intent on preserving TV’s historical business model.

    Either way, they have a good chance of changing the online video landscape as we know it.

  2. Georg says:

    Hulu would be awesome if I could get it on my Apple TV, and if the ads weren’t so screwed up.

    You have to click on the ads all the time, and the ads are long and repetitive and not related to stuff you’re interested in.

    Advertisers are going to think people are watching the ads because of the clicks, but we’re really checking our email.

  3. elwin says:

    Georg – yeah, Apple needs to work with them to get this on Apple TV.

    It’s not going to happen, though, because Apple wants to sell you TV shows, which is never going to be a big business like movies.

  4. Phil says:

    As a long time user of Hulu, I find the site to be great! I’ll go as far as saying that it’s my viewer of choice, and has replaced traditional tv, given the ability to watch on my schedule, pause, etc…. The amount of content is great and the quality is also phenomenal. I haven’t switched to the apple platform (yet), but if I were to keep a Windows box around at all, this would be the only reason!


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