I thought all the hoopla about Hulu was interesting over the last few days.
A few months ago, NBC decided to pull out of iTunes and not renew. They were making piddly numbers and thought they could do the whole digital video distribution thing better and make more money at the same time.
Well, Hulu.com is the result of their labors. It’s in private beta now, but the upshot is that NBC controls the content and distribution of their own properties, which is probably in their best interests. Evidently it will be shared with NBC partners and other channels and small networks such as Sundance, Style, Golf, TV Guide, and National Geographic. The other major stations (CBS, ABC, Disney, and Viacom) haven’t yet signed on.
I find it interesting though in the land of free TV with YouTube, Blinkx, Joost, Blip.tv, and others, that NBC is going this route. However, since advertising is king, I anticipate that commercials will find their way into the equation somewhere.
Amazon’s Unbox service seems very similar to what I’ve seen and read of Hulu also, so I’m not quite sure what the differentiators are in the market. Hopefully that will become more clear when Hulu leaves private beta and becomes open to the world.
What does this mean to bloggers and advertisers? That’s tough to say. I believe that in the world of digital distribution, links are king. So I would hope that NBC (and others) would be smart enough to offer some sort of deal for associates pimping their products, but that’s just me. I’m a TV junkie and will watch in a variety of formats I’m sure.
What do you think? Will this impact an already crowded online TV market? Or do you think NBC may get it right and lead us to a nirvana of digital TV distribution?